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First responders get gift baskets in gratitude for fight against opioids

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    Christine Robinson, Director of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County, presents Hartford Hall, a paramedic with Sheffield Township Fire and Kareem Abouelhana, a fire fighter and EMT basic with a gift basket for Appreciation Week for Ohio professionals on front line of opioid epidemic.

    BRUCE WALTON / CHRONICLE

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SHEFFIELD TWP. — Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County handed out 47 gift baskets to emergency services workers Monday as part of the state’s appreciation week for those professionals on the front line of the opiod crisis.

The baskets were given in partnership with Lorain County’s First Response — Community Engagement Workgroup.

Hartford Hall, a paramedic for Sheffield Township Fire Department, was grateful to receive a basket. As an emergency first responder, he said it’s a difficult job to endure the sights of substance abuse and not see a resolution to their labor.

“Appreciation goes a long way, because sometimes it feels like we’re just repetitively doing overdoses and nothing is being done about it,” he said.

Christine Robinson, director of program services for the Alcohol Drug Addiction Services Board, said the act is a way to let them know they are making a difference.

“First-responders do so much hard work in saving lives related to this opioid epidemic,” she said. “They often see the worst and don’t necessarily see the benefits of those who are in recovery. “

The gift baskets included snacks, proclamations from Gov. John Kasich and Attorney General Mike DeWine and artwork from local students thanking them. The baskets also had a story of a person in recovery from opioid abuse who was saved by a first responder.

A thank-you video also was included, showing a self-help video as well explaining how to protect oneself from fentanyl in emergency situations. In addition to the gift baskets for personnel, the board also sent six baskets for canine first responders.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BruceWalton.

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