Wamesit Lanes Person Of The Week: Ted Morang Sr.Sep 11, 2017 05:13PM ● By Bill Gilman
The term "life-saver" can be tossed around pretty casually. But in the case of Ted Morang Sr. there is no more apt description.
And the lives he is helping to save are those of first-responders, the men and women who put themselves in harm's way to serve the citizenry.
That is why Ted Morang Sr., owner of Bennett Noble, LLC DBA A&A Albeco, 792 Main St., is our Wamesit Lanes Person of the Week.
Recently, first responders have had to worry about a new danger -- a drug so powerful that merely touching it or breathing in trace amounts can make a person sick and could even prove fatal. The drug is called Carfentanil, (used legally as an elephant tranquilizer) and it is loo times more powerful than the deadly synthetic opioid called fentanyl and 5,000 times more powerful than heroin.
Last month, three Chelsea police officers became ill after responding to a car accident, in which the driver had overdosed on cocaine laced with fentanyl.
Police and fire departments, concerned with exposure to fentanyl and Carfentanil, while making arrests or responding to an overdose, have begun seeking to acquire additional safety gear as a precaution.
Morang's company is distributor of industrial supplies, hardware and safety equipment.
Earlier this summer, Det. Andre Gonzalez of the Tewksbury Police Department came to Morang with a list of safety equipment being recommended by the Municipal Police Training Committee, to mitigate the risks posed by Carfentanil and fentanyl.
Morang said he looked at the list and told Gonzalez it wasn't sufficient for the type of danger posed by the drugs.
"For instance, they recommended safety glasses but they really needed goggles and they needed a better quality mask," said Morang. "They didn't have anything about gloves. They didn't have a Tyvek suit,"
He responded to the need by piecing together a kit made of quality safety equipment, including hooded Tyvek suit with booties, safety goggles, long gloves and an N100 face mask. The equipment comes in multiple sizes to make sure it fits properly, ensuring the best protection.
"You're not going to get proper protection if it doesn't fit right. And it should be comfortable," said Morang.
Morang and his team, which includes his two sons, are able to sell the single-use kits at just $25 each, making them cost-effective for municipalities. And because the company is a state contractor, there is no cost for shipping.
The response to the kits has been immediate and overwhelming. In the wake of the Chelsea incident, Tewksbury Police Chief Timothy Sheehan sent an e-mail to his counterparts all over the state, providing them with information about Morang and the safety kits.
The company now has contracts with dozens of municipalities and more are signing on each week. But Morang admits he and his team feel especially good about being able to help protect local first responders.
"I can't begin to tell you the pride that myself and the four other employees have in this program. It is amazing," he said. "They see these kits going as a life saving venture and they build these kits with pride."
Beyond the dangers posed by opiods, Morang envisions police departments finding uses for the safety kits in other investigative work.
"As this evolves beyond the opiod crisis, you will see them using these kits for (purposes) they never thought of before," said Morang. "They might be going into a house to investigate a death or squalid conditions."
For being named Wamesit Lanes Person of the Week, Ted Morange Sr. received a gift card to Wamesit Lanes, Merrimack Valley's premier family entertainment center.
Do you know a friend, neighbor or family member who deserves a pat on the back for something cool they've done? Nominate them for Person of the Week by emailing their name, along with the reason they should be honored, to Bill@yourtewksburytoday.com.
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