Donors Invited To Bench Dedication

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Sep 252020

Those of you who generously donated money to the Annie Davis Memorial Bench Fund are invited to attend the bench dedication in October.

The exact date is yet to be decided upon, but the good news is that the completed bench had been delivered.

Because of the continuing threat of the coronavirus, we are limiting the dedication to those who donated money last year and helped us reach the $1,500 goal.

There were two fundraisers after Annie died in September 2019, one, the “Friends of Annie Davis,” that involved a physical event at the Orange Ale House to benefit Annie’s son, Michael, since she had not prepared a will. And the Annie “Elf Mama” Davis Memorial Bench Fund with which we are providing residents a place to relax and remember Annie at the Orange Fairgrounds.

Contact Us By Oct. 7

If you donated to the Bench Fund and would like to attend the dedication, please e-mail us at orangectlive01@gmail.com by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7 with your name and contact information so we will know how many guests to expect and so we can send you a personal notice of the date, time, and exact location of the unveiling.

The dedication will take place on a weekend in early October and you will find that information here on Orange Live.

Memorial Bench For Annie Davis Update: New Location

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Feb 202020

Annie “Elf Mama” Davis was a huge part of the Orange Community, For more than 20 years, she took the reigns of the OVFD Auxiliary’s Santa’s Helper program and helped bring joy to thousands of children and families across town. She also was a founding member of the Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Monday, Sept. 23, Annie passed away at the hospital after having a heart attack.

The friends of Annie Davis would like to purchase a memorial bench for the Orange Fairgrounds with Annie’s name on it so she will never be forgotten.

UPDATE: After some discussion at this week’s CERT meeting, a vote was taken and the majority decided that a better place for the bench would be in front of Fire Station #2 on the Boston Post Road where Annie worked for many years, and which served as Santa’s Helper Headquarters since day one. 

According to CERT spokesman Ken Lyke, the fire department personnel has agreed to placing the bench there, and so it will be.

We are still a little short on our goal, but we are confident that the bench will be in place this spring, possibly as soon as April. 

The cost of the bench, with an engraved plaque and installation, is $1,500 and we need your help to make our goal.

The Friends of Annie Davis’s Memorial Bench collection is being done in cooperation with the Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and we still need to raise $400. This could have been accomplished, for example, by soliciting $10 from just 40 families in Orange. 

We are working on different ways to get the money so that we can dedicate the bench by spring as a continual reminder to the townspeople about just how wonderful and dedicated Annie was to this town.

Anyone who’d like to help us with the funding, please send a check made out to “Friends of Annie Davis” to Friends of Annie Davis, 131 Clark Street, Milford, CT 06460. Any denomination would be greatly appreciated.

We have a Friends of Annie Davis Bank Account at Bank of America where all monies collected for the bench are being deposited.

Thank You, if you already have made a donation!

It’s Adopt A Hydrant Time Again

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Feb 022015

CERT_logoA message from the Orange CERT:

During the winter months, we ask town residents to “adopt” a hydrant and keep it clear of snow in case our fire fighters need to get to them.

Most residents already do this and we would love to get as many hydrants “adopted” this year.

If you’re already committed to clearing a hydrant or if you’re interested in doing it, please give us your information.  This will help out your town and fire fighters tremendously.

For any further information contact Lisa Hartshorn at lahart2269@gmail.com.

Thank you from your Orange CERT team.

Here is a VIDEO of three firefighters clearing a hydrant on Route 34 — the 3 minutes or more that it takes to shovel around a hydrant could make a world of difference should there be a fire at your home, or a neighbor’s home.

Adopt A Fire Hydrant: The Home You Help Save Could Be Yours

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Jan 252015

Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 6.24.19 PMFeel the chill in the air? Winter is here, so it’s time to adopt a fire hydrant.

In the event of an emergency, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department will need to access all local fire hydrants for water.

But if they are covered in snow, the firefighters would have to clear it themselves, taking up valuable time and possibly cause a delay in putting out a fire — no one wants that to happen.

Some town residents already have signed up for the “Adopt A Hydrant” program at the Orange Country Fair and the Firemen’s Carnival. Other residents just automatically take it upon themselves to clear around fire hydrants near their homes and the fire department greatly appreciates it.

The Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is asking residents interested in adopting a fire hydrant and helping out the town and fire department to please e-mail CERT member Lisa Hartshorn at lahart2269@gmail.com with your name, address, fire hydrant number (if applicable), location of hydrant and e-mail address so she can add you to the directory of volunteers.

Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 6.36.17 PM


Originally Published on: Jan 4, 2015 @ 18:44

CERT Offers Emergency Preparedness Tips For People With Special Medical Needs

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Nov 172013

CERT_logoIf you or a family member have special medical needs, you will want to take steps ahead of time to ensure that those needs can be met following an emergency of any kind. Think about your medical needs and how you can prepare to meet them. People with weakened immune systems and/or medical conditions which affect the lungs may be at increased risk from environmental contaminants following a disaster. In addition to the general preparedness activities, you may find the following tips helpful.

Emergency “Go Kit”

Have a bag packed at all times with the medications and medical supplies you use on a regular basis. In the event of an emergency, you may have to leave your home on very short notice. Include these items:

A 10-day supply (minimum) of all of your medications. Store the medications in their original containers.

A list of all of your medications: name of medication, dose, frequency, and the name of the doctor prescribing it.

A 10-day supply (minimum) of the medical supplies you know you will need, such as bandages, ostomy bags or syringes, etc.

A supply of disposable facemasks and gloves, for extra protection when needed.

Oxygen and Breathing Equipment

Have a seven-day supply (minimum) of the breathing equipment that you need on a daily basis such as tubing, solutions, medications, etc.

If you use oxygen, have an emergency seven-day supply (minimum) on hand.

Oxygen tanks are heavy and can create a hazard during an earthquake or fire. Check with your medical supply company about how to brace or secure them. THEN DO IT!

Intravenous (IV) and Feeding Tube Equipment

Attach written operating instructions to all equipment.

Know if your infusion pump has battery back up, and how long it would last in an emergency.

Ask your home care equipment provider about manual infusion techniques in case of a power outage.

Electrically Powered Medical Equipment

Medical equipment that requires electrical power such as beds, breathing equipment or infusion pumps may become inoperable when the electricity fails. Contact your medical supply company for information regarding a back-up power source such as a battery or generator.

After installing back-up power equipment, check with your local utility company to be sure it is properly installed.


Health And Safety Fair Well Attended

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Sep 272013



The 12th Annual Orange Senior Health and Safety Fair that took place at High Plains Community Center this morning offered residents with lots of valuable information and resources, some of which they may not otherwise have been aware were available.

The Yale-New Haven Mammography Van was outside and anyone who did not have an appointment or  could not meet the requirements for their service were invited to complete a form and then come to Griffin Hospital for a FREE Mammogram and examination at a later date.

The Orange Visiting Nurse Association was on hand to give free blood pressure screenings and literature describing what they offer.

At 10:30 a.m. the Laughter Yoga group came onstage for a demonstration of their fun and unusual method of staying healthy and happy.

The Orange Police Department handed out informational sheets on how seniors can protect their personal information and about some of the scams geared toward senior citizens. They also had pens and key chains available for free.

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office had smoke detectors and offered information about the free smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector installation service available to Orange residents.

Among the 36 vendor booths, there were places for hearing and vision, housing, the Case Memorial Library with all of its great services for seniors, Operation Fuel and so much more.

Cohen and Wolf P.C. sponsored lunches from 11 a.m. to noon, and Maplewood of Orange provided pastries.

The Senior Health and Safety Fair is a wonderful place to learn about all the available services in town and in the surrounding area.


Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Class Now Forming

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Sep 142013

File Photo: Asst Chief Anthony Cuozzo checks in with the CERT Volunteers at High Plains Community Center during last year's hurricane.

File Photo: Asst Chief Anthony Cuozzo checks in with the CERT Volunteers at High Plains Community Center during last year’s hurricane.

The Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)  is forming an October 2013 Class, and we want YOU to become part of our team!

How can I do that you may ask?  It’s easy and we will tell you how, but first a few things about CERT in general and your Orange CERT.

The Community Emergency Response Team program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search & rescue, disaster medical operations, team organization and other areas.

CERT is a National program with thousands of local teams in many towns in every state across the U.S.  Orange CERT trained and certified its first team in June 2006.

Now relax, you are not expected to become ‘instant’ firefighters, paramedics or professional first responders that is not who we are.  CERT members do not replace the professionals.  CERT supports and works with them.

CERT members can assist others in their own neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help, as their resources are naturally overwhelmed.  Trained CERT members are there to provide assistance to those in need while awaiting the arrival of the responders and provide useful information and support to them when they do arrive.  CERT members also take an active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

If you are like most people, who, when something like a hurricane or disaster happens, and their first instinct is to help, no matter who it is, loved ones, neighbors, the community, then you know the reason the National CERT program was created.

The emergency authorities in California developed this program many years ago, after an earthquake, when they realized ‘regular’ people wanted to help.  Provide the people with basic training in some areas, which would allow them to help others in the process, and support the professional responders. The added benefit to this idea was that, now trained, people were less likely to become victims themselves while trying to help.

Orange CERT has earned the respect and support of the local Police and Fire Departments, who support our efforts.  You may have seen your CERT operating the Emergency Shelter at High Plains Community Center during Storm Irene or Hurricane Sandy, or assisting at the Town Fireworks and Orange Firemen’s Carnival.  Orange CERT also was called in to assist the many local, state and federal agencies in the search for a missing local teen.  Yes, we are a trained, active and dedicated team.

Anyone 18 years of age or older can join the team.  Our team consists of men and women from many areas such as police, fire, paramedic, electrician, scout leader, administrative backgrounds, moms, dads, grandparents, any and every background you can imagine.  Everyone is welcome to attend class and be part of the team.

Training classes consist of 8 – 10 sessions, 2-3 hours each,  on Wednesday nights each week.  Orange CERT has several members who themselves are Certified CERT Instructors.  There are no tests or exams to worry about.  Each student is not required to perform duties he or she may not feel comfortable doing or is unable to do, like heavy lifting for example, students learn by watching as well.

No one is expected to go beyond their own physical capabilities.  There are many administrative and other duties one can assist with on every team.  Some people obtain the training just for their own use and peace of mind, to have the knowledge and training to help their families, friends, and groups and that’s fine too.

One can never go wrong with having the benefit of this helpful training and information.  Upon completion, each person will be issued a backpack with CERT Equipment, Personal Protective items, and a CERT Team Uniform Shirt.

It’s also very important to feel secure in the knowledge that ALL CERT members, who assist in an official activation, be it for an emergency or non-emergency event, ARE covered by the Connecticut State Worker’s Compensation Insurance, should they in the rare event become ill or injured while on duty.

So, now that you know a little more about CERT and what Orange CERT is about, we hope you are interested in becoming a member of the October 2013 Class and join our team.  We are a respected and trained team, who also manage to have some fun in the process; yes we do fun things too!  Like train with rescue helicopters for example, but that’s another story for another time.

For more information on how to sign up for the Fall 2013 Class, send an email to: Allen Mushin at: K1qex@optimum.net or Anne Davis at:  Cookiemama059@aol.com, or visit our web site at: www.orange-cert.org.

We will be happy to answer any questions and to get you signed up for the class and on your way to becoming a fellow team member of Orange CERT.

Orange CERT Shares Thunderstorm Safety Tips

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Jul 102013

This is why we suspend games during storms.

This is why we suspend games during storms.

The Orange CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) would like everyone to be aware of important information on Thunderstorm safety.  As you are aware, we are in the middle of summer storm season, and severe weather warnings are issued frequently.

We all see the thunderstorm warnings and watches posted, but do you know the difference?  To clarify, a Severe Thunderstorm Watch tells you where they are likely to occur.  A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters on the ground or indicated by radar.  Warnings indicate imminent danger to those areas in the path of the storm.

Here are a few simple guidelines to follow BEFORE a thunderstorm strikes:

‚  Know the county you live in and the names of the major nearby cities or towns.  Severe weather warnings are issued by county and major cities.

‚  Check the latest forecast and weather outlook and watch for signs of an approaching thunderstorm outside your window.

‚  If a storm is approaching, keep a battery powered AM/FM radio or a radio with the National Weather Service frequency with you.

‚  Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are imminent.  This is your best way to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.

When thunderstorms approach:

‚  If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.  Seek  safe shelter immediately, in a sturdy building car (not a convertible).

‚ Remember, rubber soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning.  However, the steel frame of a hard-topped car provides increased protection, if you are not touching metal.

‚  Secure objects that may blow away and cause damage.  Close windows, blinds, curtains and secure outside doors.

‚  Avoid showering or bathing.  Plumbing and bathroom fixtures conduct electricity.

‚  Use a corded telephone ONLY for emergencies.  Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.

‚  Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and air conditioners.  Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.

‚  Listen to battery operated radio for weather updates and related information.

If you are caught outside and no shelter is available, find a low spot away from isolated trees, fences or poles.  Squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet, place hands on your knees with your head between them, making yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground.

If by chance your home is struck by lightning, move yourself and your loved ones to a safe spot and immediately call 9-1-1, for the Fire Department to respond, even if you don’t see fire from the strike at first.  Lightning strikes can cause severe damage to the home and surroundings, and will often travel inside the walls, hiding the immediate fire danger from view.

Your Fire Department has the equipment and training to detect and handle these situations and emergencies safely.  It is also a good practice to install battery powered smoke detectors in your home, one on every level, outside each sleeping area.

If your home loses power during a storm, your hard-wired smoke detectors and fire alarms will not function.  If you have any questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact your local Fire Marshal’s Office.

Orange CERT hopes you find this information helpful.  CERT is dedicated to assisting the community in both emergency and non-emergency situations.  Please look for our next public education article on Blackout Safety in an upcoming edition.  For more information on Orange CERT, please visit: www.cert-orange.org

— This is a press release from CERT.

Orange Prepares For Hurricane Season

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Jun 202013

The Emergency Management Team meets at the Orange PD for a mock drill.

The Emergency Management Team meets at the Orange PD for a mock drill.

The Orange Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was open Thursday, June 20, as representatives from the Police, fire, highway, and health departments, OVNA, UI, CERT and Emergency Management team all came together at the Orange Police Department to take part in a realistic statewide drill.

The exercise involved every city and town in Connecticut.

The scenario this week was a hurricane bearing down on Connecticut.

Each EOC took directions from the state, receiving updates, and localized information in real time.

Just like last year’s practice drill in July, the group went through the motions as if this was a real emergency.

On a pull down video screen, the entire room could see everything that was posted on the computer, including incoming e-mail and what level of preparedness different areas of the state were under at any given time.

Everyone discussed different options, evacuation plans, strike team organization and other necessary information as each became pertinent to the operation.

The purpose of the exercise was to ensure that every community in CT was prepared to jump into action if a disaster struck.

Orange had an excellent program in place during Hurricane Irene in August 2011, which hit land as a tropical storm, but still took down hundreds of trees all around town and left some residents in the dark for more than a week. That program, which includes strike teams and inter-departmental cooperation worked so well that it carried through to subsequent storms.

Orange also has a large trailer for animals that visit the shelter during a storm. The trailer can be transported to any other city or town if its shelter is open and they are in dire need of a place for pets. Many residents brought their four legged companions with them during last year’s storms and everyone was well taken care of.


The most important thing that residents can do is prepare themselves to be self sufficient for 7-10 days or longer. The emergency shelter at High Plains will be open but it won’t do you any good if you can’t get out of your house or neighborhood due to dangerous conditions.

Since Hurricane Season has already begun, now is as good a time as any to put a survival kit together.

Purchase a large plastic tote container that will keep everything dry in the event of flooding.

Start packing it now, little by little with canned goods, and a can opener (very important), a first aid kit, sunscreen, disposable utensils and paper plates, 2 or 3 working flashlights with spare batteries, a wind up or battery operated radio with spare batteries, protein rich snacks like nuts to keep you full in the event that you are stranded for a long time. Non perishable items, at least one gallon of water per person per day. Be sure to have food and water for your pets too.

Fill your bath tub with water, not for bathing, but so that you can flush your toilet if water supply is interrupted.

Fill your propane tank for a gas grill for cooking.

Get a generator before they all sell out. Have it installed by a licensed electrician and do not run it inside the house or near vents or open windows.

If anyone in your home relies on electrical medical equipment such as an oxygen machine you should invest in a generator. Notify the UI and VNA before the storm arrives so they are aware of your situation.

Don’t forget to take cash out of the bank ahead of time. The ATMs at your bank will not work if there is no power.

A Heartfelt Letter, Recognizing Those Who Gave Of Themselves During Sandy

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Nov 162012

The CERT command at the Orange Emergency Shelter.

It was a collective effort of small contributions which enabled the Town of Orange Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to serve a few hundred people.  Such generosity reflects a caring spirit often missed during a caustic election year.

The High Plains Community Center was opened to provide shelter from super-storm Sandy.  Volunteers attended to many clients, especially the elderly, providing overnight accommodations, heat, hot water and showers.  Many folks used the electricity to charge cell phones and computers; others only wanted morning coffee.  Deeper, some required more intimate care so as to attend to soiled diapers, navigating doorways with walkers or issues related to oxygen, medicine, language and hearing.

There was food; three meals a day served to about 70 people for nearly a week.  Supplies started to dwindle but calls for help resulted in deliveries of apples, yogurt, bagels and water.  People of faith stepped-up; coordinating their efforts with CERT and the Town’s EOC (emergency operations center), bringing food and volunteers.

A wholehearted thank you is extended to the nurses, janitors, police, fire-fighters, highway department and many more.  It would be wonderful to mention each person and community group by name because they deserve recognition.  The list of people who helped is long, many worked hard, volunteering even though they lacked electricity, heat and running water at their homes.  In any case I personally witnessed their selflessness and extend a sincere thank you.

Reverend Ann Ritonia, Church of the Good Shepard, please extend my heartfelt gratitude to your congregation as they demonstrated how to serve the community in a time of need.  Additionally, thanks to Reno’s Pizzeria; Julia’s Bakery; Orange Congregational Church; Congregation Or Shalom; Orange Little League; Themis Klarides; American Red Cross; Robert Lettick; the great effort by Maria Biondi, Orange Visiting Nurses Association; and Jennifer Hutchinson, a nurse who volunteered her time.  There are many more and you are not forgotten; thank you too.

To my fellow CERT members, thank you and your family members (e.g., Joe Han’s wife Kim put in a lot of hours of kitchen prep, cleaning and recycling).  CERT can continue to prepare, help others prepare and do even better next time.  Once again we realize how well-off we really are by giving ourselves.

Finally, there are many stories to be told about the storm and its aftermath.  One genuine simple contribution in a time of need to a larger community effort had big results.  Donated paper plates were available to serve the many.  Thank you AF.


Charles Waskiewicz