Safety is a family business

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Beacon Falls residents Jeremy Rodorigo, left, and his nephew, Sean Cloney, pose at the new Medical Education Academy in Beacon Falls. Cloney opened the academy this summer and Rodorigo, who also went into business for himself, teaches courses there. –LUKE MARSHALL
Beacon Falls residents Jeremy Rodorigo, left, and his nephew, Sean Cloney, pose at the new Medical Education Academy in Beacon Falls. Cloney opened the academy this summer and Rodorigo, who also went into business for himself, teaches courses there. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — Safety runs in the blood of an uncle and nephew duo in Beacon Falls.

Beacon Falls residents Jeremy Rodorigo and his nephew, Sean Cloney, have made safety their business for much of their lives, and are now branching out on their own.

Rodorigo, who worked with the ambulance service American Medical Response for 30 years, became an independent contractor for ResponseNow in August.

ResponseNow is a pendant with a button that is worn around the neck. If someone suffers a fall or other accident and is unable to reach the phone, they push the button to contact help.

During his time with AMR, Rodorigo said, he has seen what can happen when someone falls and is unable to get help. The consequences, from dehydration to blood clots, can be severe, he said.

“I have seen so many elderly people, who either live alone or with someone else who is elderly and can’t get around too well, fall and they lie on the floor for hours and sometimes days because they weren’t close enough to a phone to call for help,” Rodorigo said.

While Rodorigo’s business focuses on assisting people who need help, Cloney is working to help people help others.

Cloney, who was previously an emergency medical technician and currently works as a dispatcher, opened the Medical Education Academy, or MedEd, in Beacon Falls this summer at 141 South Main St.

MedEd offers on-site training, such as CPR, Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, or first aid, to companies that require such training, as well as an EMT training course.

“We just want to be able to offer any type of medical training and any type of life safety training,” Cloney said.

Rodorigo also works as an instructor at MedEd.

Rodorigo said he has been teaching these types of classes since Cloney was young. While Rodorigo had never planned to go into business with Cloney, he was happy his nephew became involved.

Cloney said knowing that Rodorigo would be around to help made the decision to open the business easier.

“I knew starting the business that he would help. I knew I would have someone I could trust do some of the classes for me,” Cloney said.

The business of teaching these types of classes is just a natural extension for Rodorigo and Cloney, both of whom have spent time as EMTs.

Cloney said, under Rodorigo’s convincing, he, his mother, his father, his sister, and one of his cousins all took the same EMT class to be able to help out with medical calls for Beacon Hose Company No. 1.

“I was related to half the class when I took the EMT class,” Cloney said.

Rodorigo said helping others just became a thing the family did.

“Some families hunt. Some families are involved with the Lions Club. We just happen to be involved with the EMS,” Rodorigo said.