For Immediate Release
Contact: Casey Shea 508-368-7229
SHREWSBURY– Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. today recognized the life-saving actions of two members of the Shrewsbury Police Department and two members of the Shrewsbury Fire Department.
Detective Matthew Caola, Officer Shawn Valliere, Firefighter Rory Ahern, and Firefighter Ben Gerber, who performed life-saving breathing techniques on a one-year-old girl, were presented with the District Attorney’s Team Excellence and Merit — TEAM — Award, which recognizes outstanding service by those in public safety.
“A child in distress is a truly heart wrenching situation” Mr. Early said. “Caola, Valliere, Ahern, and Gerber relied on their training and experience to ensure the baby girl survived. Shrewsbury is lucky to have such dedicated and passionate police officers and firefighters serving its community.”
On September 22, 2021, Detective Caola, Officer Valliere, and Firefighters Ahern and Gerber responded to a report of a one-year-old girl who was not breathing. Upon their arrival, they started to administer CPR and breathing techniques to revive the child. Shrewsbury Worcester EMS later assisted them.
“This is a great example of police, fire and healthcare providers, who have all been tirelessly working long days throughout the pandemic, coming together to save the lives of others. Detective Caloa and Officer Valliere’s quick actions demonstrate their continued commitment to helping others. I am proud of their tremendous efforts,” said Shrewsbury Police Department Chief Kevin Anderson. “Thank you to DA Early for recognizing their outstanding performance.”
The child was transported to UMass Memorial Hospital and survived, thanks to the actions of Detective Caola, Officer Valliere, and Firefighters Ahern and Gerber.
“Fire, Police and EMS are like a sports team – we may all play different positions, but together we make up a great public safety team,” said Shrewsbury Fire Chief Jim Vuona. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the Police officers and Firefighters to be recognized together for their life saving work in the community!”
Mr. Early created the TEAM Award in 2019 to recognize public safety employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. Contact the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office at (508) 755-8601 to nominate someone for this award.