GEMS soaked for Ice Bucket Challenge

From left, Andres Ortega, Art Romano, Dennis Fogler, Betty Bernstein, Sherry Hoffman, Scott Winters, Charlee Tufts, Jim Syrotiak, Butch Bozzuto, Janice Delveccio and Lori Phillip all endured an icing carried out by, up top from left, Karin Brion. Mary Grace Hicks, Jason Wein and Trevor O’Neill. — John Ferris Robben photo

From left, Andres Ortega, Art Romano, Dennis Fogler, Betty Bernstein, Sherry Hoffman, Scott Winters, Charlee Tufts, Jim Syrotiak, Butch Bozzuto, Janice Delveccio and Lori Phillip all endured an icing carried out by, up top from left, Karin Brion. Mary Grace Hicks, Jason Wein and Trevor O’Neill. — John Ferris Robben photo

Responding to a challenge from Chief of Police James Heavey, members of the Greenwich Emergency Medical Services took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last week and endured quite a soaking.

The challenge was accepted to raise money for research into a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The GEMS crew, mostly made up of the command staff, experienced several buckets of freezing cold water poured over their heads just days after Chief Heavey and other GPD personnel had. In both cases it was done to honor the late GPD Sgt. Roger Petrone who died of ALS. Money was donated in both cases to the Tri State Trek which Greenwich officers began riding in after Sgt. Petrone was diagnosed with ALS.

But the GEMS crew had another reason as well as it took on the challenge  and also to support Amanda Bernier a volunteer EMT and firefighter from Madison who has been diagnosed with ALS.To that end, GEMS also challenged the Stamford EMS and Westport EMS crews as well as the EMS Chiefs Association with the hope that they too would support Ms. Bernier and her husband Chris.Ms. Bernier was diagnosed only days after she received the good news that she was finally expecting her first child. She had a very aggressive form of the disease and the pregnancy exacerbates it so support for her is needed. More information and a chance to donate is available online at Amandas-angels.org.

The GEMS crew wasn’t the only challenge made by Chief Heavey, though. Mr. Heavey also called out Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei and Selectmen David Theis and Drew Marzullo. Post editor Ken Borsuk also challenged the selectmen weeks ago and so far no answer has been received.

More information about the Ice Bucket Challenge and giving to help is available at ALSA.org

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