NBA Star Ryan Gomes and Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura Celebrate HeartSafe Designation

   Waterbury native Ryan Gomes, middle, played high school basketball in the city and now stars in the NBA, joined Mayor Michael Jarjura, left, and representatives from the city’s health and emergency services organizations in celebrating Waterbury’s recent designation as a HeartSafe Community by the state Department of Public Health. The event took place Thursday, October 27, at Waterbury City Hall. Along with Gomes and the mayor, representatives from the state Department of Public Health, Waterbury Hospital, the Heart Center of Greater Waterbury, Saint Mary’s Hospital, AMR Ambulance, Campion Ambulance and the Waterbury Fire and Police Departments were on hand to mark the occasion. The HeartSafe designation is awarded to communities across the state that have demonstrated that they are properly equipped and trained to both prevent and respond to cardiac emergencies. 

Members of AMR Ambulance, Campion Ambulance and the Waterbury Fire and Police Departments were on hand to mark the occasion. 

With the help of Ryan Gomes’s Hoops for Heart Health Foundation, the city has been able to acquire an ample amount of defibrillators and other heart emergency equipment to meet the state requirements. Ryan’s involvement in the community’s heart health initiatives dates back several years ago when a good friend of his died as he was exercising in preparation for a basketball tryout. 

Ryan Gomes wasn't the only man at the press conference with a physically imposing presence. Deputy Chief of Police Vernon Riddick Jr. towered over Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura as they discussed the city's Halloween security plan. Riddick, at 6'8" was eyeball to eyeball with Gomes. A wide angle lens used to shoot this photograph makes Riddick appear even larger than he is.