OXFORD, MA – Hometown Bank’s Everyday Hometown Hero for August has been a volunteer member of the Brookfield Fire Department for 21 years.
A familiar figure in the Town of Brookfield, Donna Lafleur has been involved with that town’s emergency medical service since 1977. She was Brookfield’s first paramedic and currently serves as chief of the ambulance service, an unpaid position. A passionate advocate for the community’s medical service, Ms. Lafleur is credited with helping Brookfield become the first local community with paramedic level ambulance service and with earning state approval for advanced life support (ALS) status.
Brookfield resident, Cindy Thompson, who nominated Ms. Lafleur, says the community has come to rely upon her professional and compassionate approach as a paramedic. “If you go on an ambulance call in Brookfield and Donna isn’t on duty, you may very well be asked ‘where’s Donna?’ She cares more about her patients than most of them will ever know.”
Another co-worker says Ms. Lafleur’s empathy for her patients is intense. “Having worked with Donna for 28 years,” they said, “it is not uncommon for her to have sympathy symptoms after doing a call. If we bring someone to the hospital with a migraine headache, she will usually have a headache for several hours.”
Donna’s commitment of service to her community does not stop at her involvement in emergency medical services. She was a police officer in the town for 13 years, and for 35 years she has coordinated the town’s “Toys for Joy” program in association with the neighboring town of East Brookfield. Over the years, that annual program has assured hundreds of less fortunate children in both communities with Christmas presents by collecting unwrapped toys and financial contributions.
Hometown Bank’s Sturbridge Branch Manager, Kathryn Latour has been a lifelong resident of Brookfield, where she has witnessed Ms. Lafleur’s efforts firsthand. “It is such a pleasure to be able to shine a light on Donna’s community involvement and her commitment to improving the quality of life for all Brookfield residents. We are all very fortunate to have Donna in our corner.”
A donation of $100 has been made to Toys for Joy in Ms. Lafleur’s honor. You may correspond with them at P.O. Box 575, East Brookfield, MA 01515.
Each month during 2014, Hometown Bank’s 125th anniversary year, we will select one individual to recognize as that month’s Everyday Hometown Hero. Hometown Bank will present the honoree with a check in the amount of $100 and will make a $100 donation to the local, non-profit organization chosen by the honoree. Our Everyday Hometown Hero may be anyone who is recognized by his or her community as indispensable because of the contributions they have made and continue to make. We are especially interested in identifying those individuals who work behind the scenes without much recognition, but who do so much in their own quiet way. Do you have someone in mind who you think should be recognized as an Everyday Hometown Hero? Visit our website at www.hometowncoop.com for a link to the online nomination form.