Shelton’s St. Joseph’s school now an emergency training center

October 2, 2018

SHELTON-For 89 years St. Joseph’s elementary school on Coram Avenue was a place of learning.

However declining enrollment and mounting debt forced Bishop Frank Caggiano of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport to close the school in the spring of 2017.

He consolidated St. Joseph, St. Jude and St. Lawrence schools into the Holy Trinity Catholic Academy on Shelton Street for the 2017-18 school year.

Now its becoming a school again.

The Echo Hose Ambulance Training Center is moving into the first floor of the school. A public open house will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 6.

“This is a good move for them, for the community and for the state,” said John Anglace, president of the Board of Aldermen. “They do a lot of good work and their leadership is excellent.”

“There are a lot of community members we can thank for this,” said Michael Chaffee, chief of the Echo Hose Ambulance Corps. “We are going to do our best to give back.”

Chaffee said the site will be used for EMS and EMT training and refresher classes, Active Shooter and Hostile Event training as well as FEMA classes involving biological and hazardous materials and disaster preparation.

“We do a lot of training and re-training professionals throughout the Naugatuck Valley and the state,” he said. “We’ve even had people from New York take our FEMA courses.

During Saturday’s open house, adults may take free classes teaching “Hands Only” CPR , bleeding control, Narcan administration or the Hidden in Plain Sight program instructing parents on signs of underage drinking and drug use. Members of BHCare, C.A.R.E.S, Valley Parish Nurses, Shelton Youth Service Bureau, Shelton Emergency Management and the Naugatuck Valley Health District will be available..

“We’ll have classes available every month for the general public,” Chaffee said adding that people can look for details and register on the Echo Hose Ambulance website and facebook pages.

The new training center with a $15,000 grant from the Katharine Matthies Foundation and a generous donation of furniture and equipment from the R.D. Scinto Company.

“They helped us a lot with chairs, desks, tables and white boards,” Chaffee said. He also credited Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart with providing much needed donations.

Chaffee commended his department and Assistant Chief Joseph Laucella for helping with the move.

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