ADDRESSING AMERICA’S BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, wrote to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) demanding urgent action to address the nationwide infant formula shortage.
“Families are feeling the impact,” the members wrote in letters to FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf and FTC Commissioner Lina Khan. “Raising an infant is a stressful enough experience without wondering whether or not you will be able to find—or afford—the food your child desperately needs to grow, thrive, and stay healthy.”
A February FDA recall from a major producer’s plant and continued global supply chain disruptions have restricted access and increased the cost of infant formula for parents and caregivers. Families have reported empty shelves at major retailers and some have taken to diluting formula to make it last longer, which doctors warn can have extremely dangerous health repercussions.
In response, Blumenthal and DeLauro called on the FDA to provide answers on efforts to eliminate shortages and increase formula production:
“While we must address the issues the led to this failure, at this point in the crisis, it is just as critical that we urgently focus on getting safe and affordable infant formula to the families that need it.”
Families in states across the country have also reported price gouging on online marketplaces; on eBay, a 3-pack of Similac that normally sells for $130 is being sold for $238, and other retailers are marking up a can of formula from $30 to $80. Other families have reported being scammed out of hundreds of dollars after purchasing formula on Facebook Marketplace, and instances of individuals claiming to be representatives of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) coming to doorsteps asking for recalled formula in exchange for a “refund.”
“These circumstances have created the perfect conditions for predators to take advantage of desperate caregivers through scams, outright fraud, and other schemes to exploit high prices,” Blumenthal and DeLauro wrote to Chair Khan. “We call on the FTC to investigate and take action against any scams and fraud preying on shortages of formula that have made it harder for parents to care for their infants,” and to, “work with the FDA and state Attorneys General to ensure that the public has information about any fraud or price gouging schemes related to formulas.”
Blumenthal also joined U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Bob Casey (D-PA), and twenty-nine of their colleagues in urging President Joe Biden to immediately assign a coordinator within the White House on infant formula to address the shortage and implement a national strategy to increase the resiliency of the infant formula supply chain and protect against future contamination and shortages.
“The federal government needs to do more to get formula back on shelves as soon as possible and secure the supply chain of infant formula to prevent this type of crisis from happening again. These actions require a government-wide response, as the issue spans food supply chain security, regulatory oversight, public health surveillance, market competition, government contracting, and more. We urge you to immediately assign a coordinator within the White House to work with manufacturers directly and oversee the development and implementation of a national strategy for increasing the resiliency of the infant formula supply chain and protecting against future contamination and shortages,” wrote the senators.
ENDING GUN VIOLENCE
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee, chaired a hearing titled, “Stop Gun Violence: The Jackson-Elias Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act.” The hearing was the fourth in a series Blumenthal is holding to examine constitutional and commonsense efforts to prevent gun violence.
During his opening remarks, Blumenthal discussed the facts on domestic violence as, “absolutely harrowing,” saying,
“More than 600 women in the United States every year are shot to death by intimate partners. Firearms are used to commit more than half of all intimate partner homicides in the United States. The mere presence of a firearm in the home increases the likelihood that domestic violence will escalate into a homicide by fivefold.”
Last year, Blumenthal introduced the Lori Jackson-Nicolette Elias Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act which would protect survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence by closing dangerous loopholes in federal law that allow abusers to legally obtain firearms. The bill is named in memory of Lori Jackson, an Oxford, Connecticut mother of two who was tragically shot and killed by her estranged husband who had legally obtained a handgun even though he was subject to a temporary restraining order, and Nicolette Elias, an Oregon mother of two who secured restraining and temporary stalking orders against her former spouse but was killed with a handgun that he refused to relinquish.
“Our bill would help protect survivors at the moment their abusers are most dangerous, most dangerous: when survivors leave abusive relationships and seek help from law enforcement and the courts,” said Blumenthal. “That is the moment of highest rage and lowest protection.”
The sister of Lori Jackson, Kacey Mason, testified before the committee and shared her sister’s story, discussing the importance of legislation to close these dangerous loopholes.
“Lori did everything in her power to keep herself and her children safe,” said Mason. “Lori knew her estranged husband owned a gun. At that time in Connecticut, he was under his legal rights to keep it. I am proud to say that loophole has been closed in Connecticut, but Connecticut’s law alone would not have been enough to save her. The gun that he used was not the gun he already owned when he killed her. Her estranged husband went to Virginia, where he legally purchased a new gun. This is why it is so important to have this law on a federal level. This way abusers cannot evade the law by purchasing their guns in another state.”
Under current law, abusers may legally purchase firearms if they are subject to a temporary – not permanent – restraining order. Other gaps in current law, such as the “Boyfriend Loophole” and the “Stalking Loophole” which allow dating partners with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions and those with misdemeanor stalking convictions to obtain firearms, would also be closed by this legislation.
While President Biden signed the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization into law March, Blumenthal called for Congress to take further action to protect survivors of domestic violence.
“There’s a lot more that we can and must do on domestic violence,” said Blumenthal. “And we can follow the leadership that we’ve seen at the state level, including Connecticut. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have already closed the Ex Parte Loophole…There’s a reason these states have all acted: these laws work.”
Mason concluded her opening remarks with a plea for Congress to act on legislation like the Jackson-Elias Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act.
“It’s too late for Lori, but this law can and will make a difference in another family’s story,” said Mason.
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) reacted to the mass shooting by a white supremacist at a grocery store in Buffalo that killed ten people.
“My heart breaks for the Buffalo & East Side community. Even as our thoughts go out to the victims & families, we must honor them with action. Dark, ugly, & hate-filled as this time seems, we cannot back down or give up.”
“More lives will be lost & futures shattered if our nation & Congress does not confront the hatred we allow to fester & the gun violence scourge that goes unchecked. Enough must be enough.”
“Congress’ recent hate crimes bill must be bolstered, but common sense also compels gun violence prevention steps that can stop this relentless carnage. We cannot look the other away.”
Following the shooting in Buffalo as well as other deadly mass shootings around the country, Blumenthal joined U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bob Menendez in reintroducing the Federal Firearm Licensing Act, legislation that would require individuals to obtain a firearm license from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before purchasing or receiving a firearm.
Several studies have shown that licensing laws reduce gun violence in states that have enacted them. According to the Giffords Law Center, Connecticut saw its gun homicide and gun suicide rates decrease by 28 and 33 percent, respectively, after passing a state licensing law. In contrast, after Missouri repealed its firearm licensing law, the state saw a 47 percent increase in its gun homicide rate and 24 percent increase in its gun suicide rate.
“This legislation will save lives and protect communities across the United States from the devastating impact of gun violence,” said Blumenthal. “As shown by the success in Connecticut, simple, common sense standards like licensing laws requiring the completion of a background check and firearm safety certification work. I’m proud to join Senators Booker and Menendez in this effort to address our nation’s gun violence epidemic.”
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sent a letter to 28 shipping companies expressing their concern that lax shipping security measures could contribute to firearm theft and make it easier for criminals to get their hands on lethal firearms. Though government statistics on stolen firearms are incomplete, reports indicate that criminals appear to be exploiting loopholes and weak points in the firearm supply chain to steal weapons and use them to commit crimes.
“We are concerned that lax shipping security measures are contributing to the epidemic of gun violence in this country by allowing criminals to use stolen firearms to commit crimes,” wrote the senators. “For that reason, we request that you provide information about ABF Freight System’s policies to secure firearm shipments and prevent their loss and theft.”
SUPPORTING UKRAINE & OUR INTERNATIONAL ALLIES
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after the Senate voted to approve a supplemental aid package for Ukraine:
“Ukraine’s freedom fighters remain under siege and in great need of the resources this bill will provide. This vital assistance will provide even more artillery, armored vehicles, anti-armor systems, and anti-air capabilities that have been used so effectively on the battlefield by the Ukrainian warriors. This package also includes urgent economic and humanitarian relief to assist the millions of Ukrainians suffering from Putin’s brutal war. I am proud of the Senate’s overwhelming, bipartisan vote in support of our friends and allies in Ukraine. This fight is not cheap, but caving to Putin’s aggression would be more costly.”
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) attended an address to a joint session of Congress by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“Stirring call to action by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to defend democracy & freedom—an unshakable bond between our countries—in his speech to Congress that I attended today. Greek gifts to our nation of both values & people in the Greek American community are priceless.”
“I was proud to meet with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis & congratulate him on his powerful & eloquent words to the American people, reminding us of our common commitment to democracy & the rule of law, & the need for courage to fight for these values.”
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) met with the Ambassador of the Republic of Finland to the United States H.E. Mikko Hautala.
“Wonderful to meet with Finland’s Ambassador Hautala yesterday, as their parliament approves joining NATO. Putin’s barbaric, brutal invasion is bolstering NATO & bringing together nations that prize freedom & democracy, now under assault.”
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Mike Rounds (R-SD) joined forty-three of their colleagues in calling for $500 million to fully fund U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense programs in the Defense Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023. Israel’s missile defense system is made up of four operational layers: Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow 2 and now Arrow 3. In addition to contributing to ballistic missile defense, the funding will support crucial work on research, development and test activities to counter hostile unmanned aerial systems.
“Together, these programs confront the compelling challenges facing both Israel and the United States and represent the security-based and economic tenets of the enduring friendship of our nations,” the senators wrote.
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Jim Risch (R-ID) joined 49 of their colleagues in a letter to President Joe Biden urging the Administration’s inclusion of Taiwan as a partner in the proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). In addition to recognizing Taiwan’s importance to the United States as an important trading partner, the senators underscored that failing to include Taiwan in IPEF runs counter to U.S. economic interests in the region.
“The more economic engagement U.S. and allies and partners have with Taiwan, the stronger our collective resilience against coercion,” the senators wrote. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine shows the value of tangible economic support by the United States and like-minded allies and partners, and the same is true for Taiwan. Including Taiwan in the IPEF would be an invaluable signal of our rock-solid commitment to Taiwan and its prosperity and freedom.”
SUPPORTING VETERANS & LAW ENFORCEMENT
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, praised a bipartisan agreement announced by Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-KS) on comprehensive legislation to deliver all generations of toxic-exposed veterans their earned health care and benefits under the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the first time in the nation’s history. The agreement includes legislation championed by Blumenthal to expand benefits and healthcare to two veteran populations that are not currently able to access services: veterans who responded to the nuclear accident in Palomares, Spain and those who were deployed to the K2 Air Base.
“This is spectacular news. Doing right by our veterans means doing right by all generations of veterans afflicted by toxic exposure. As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I’ve fought for this comprehensive package and will work to swiftly approve it,” said Blumenthal.
“I’m particularly proud to have secured provisions to extend benefits to Palomares veterans survivors and VA health care to K2 veterans. For years, I’ve advocated for them and all who suffer from exposure to toxins and poisons while serving. I look forward to swift action by Congress to send this bill to President Biden’s desk.”
— The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and 83 of their colleagues marking National Police Week and reiterating support for the men and women in law enforcement.
“Day in and day out, police officers in Connecticut and across the country put their lives on the line to protect and serve our communities,” said Blumenthal. “Regardless of the dangers and risks, these heroes answer the call for help. I’m proud to join this bipartisan resolution reaffirming our support for essential law enforcement personnel and their commitment to public safety.”
The resolution designates the week of May 15 through May 21, 2022, as “National Police Week,” and expresses unwavering support for law enforcement officers across the United States in the pursuit of preserving safe and secure communities.
Blumenthal also joined U.S Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and seven of their colleagues in bipartisan legislation that aims to strengthen the relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve by incentivizing recruits and officers to work in the communities where they live. The Strong Communities Act would provide federal grants for local law enforcement recruits and officers who agree to attend school or academy and then serve in a law enforcement agency in their respective communities.
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined twenty of their colleagues in a bipartisan request for the maximum possible funding for the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to support implementation and enforcement of key anti-money laundering and anti-corruption reforms. The senators called for funding to help FinCEN deploy new authority under the Corporate Transparency Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 to root out transnational criminals, drug cartels, terrorists, and authoritarian oligarchs — like Vladimir Putin and his corrupt cronies.
OTHER LEGISLATION, LETTERS & STATEMENTS
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (D-CT) joined Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and ten of their Senate colleagues in sending letters to SafeGraph and Placer.ai, condemning the two data brokers for collecting and selling the cellphone-based location data of people who visit abortion clinics and risking the safety and privacy of anyone seeking abortion services.
Data brokers collect untold amounts of information from Americans’ cellphones, often without the consumer’s consent or knowledge. SafeGraph and Placer.ai collect precise location and time data from Americans’ phones, revealing exactly where an individual goes at a given time. The collected data is then available to anyone willing to purchase it.
The Senators are demanding answers about the companies’ data collection practices in response to a draft majority opinion by the Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade, threatening fifty years of precedent protecting access to abortion and the right to make health care decisions without partisan interference.
“This disturbing practice is completely unconscionable given the ongoing attack on reproductive freedoms in our nation. SafeGraph and Placer.ai are putting people’s lives at risk by making this private information readily available to anti-abortion activists, politicians and law enforcement — some of whom have already used this data to criminally charge people seeking abortions and send them targeted anti-choice ads on their phones. This is a shameful assault on a person’s right to make private health care decisions and these companies have a moral obligation to end this practice immediately,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal also joined U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and thirteen of their colleagues in urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect the data privacy of women seeking reproductive health care, following the Supreme Court’s leaked decision overturning Roe v. Wade. The senators expressed their concern over reports that data brokers are selling location data that allow purchasers to see how many people sought abortion services and other family planning care.
“In light of reports that the Supreme Court is set to overrule Roe vs. Wade, we are concerned about the privacy of women making decisions that should be between them, their families, and their doctors, as they have for more than five decades,” the senators wrote. “We appreciate your efforts to highlight the critical need for increased consumer privacy and danger of open data to further victimization. However additional measures need to be taken to protect personal data and ensure the privacy of women as they make decisions that should be between them and their doctors.”
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) released the following statement after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) voted unanimously to issue a policy statement related to education technology and enforcement of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The policy statement reinforces the agency’s commitment to enforcing COPPA protections in education technology and is intended to curtail surveillance of children and teens, who are increasingly utilizing online platforms for schooling during the COVID pandemic.
“Threats to the privacy and wellbeing of kids and teens online have reached a crisis point. We applaud the FTC’s attention to this urgent problem and its acknowledgment that a child’s education should never come at the expense of their privacy. The FTC’s policy statement is an important step in the right direction, but it is not a replacement for legislative action. Congress must pass our bill to update the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, expand safeguards to protect young teens, and ban targeted marketing to children.”
— President Biden signed into law bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Rob Portman (R-OH) to protect infant lives by banning the sale of padded crib bumpers—which have been proven to pose an unnecessary, deadly risk to sleeping infants. The Safe Cribs Act, which was included in the legislation also banning dangerous inclined sleeper products, would make it unlawful nationwide to manufacture and import crib bumpers which remain widely sold by retailers despite current recommendations advising parents to keep cribs bare to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.
“Deadly and dangerous crib bumpers linked to dozens of babies suffocating will now finally be pulled off store shelves,” said Blumenthal. “With President Biden’s signature, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act will prevent more needless tragedies and save new parents from unknowingly purchasing perilous padding for their children’s cribs. I’m proud to have joined Senators Duckworth and Portman in this bipartisan effort.”
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act, legislation to restore and protect competition in digital advertising by eliminating conflicts of interest that have allowed the leading platforms in the market to manipulate ad auctions and impose monopoly rents on a broad swath of the American economy.
“Our bipartisan bill would guard against immense conflicts of interest in today’s digital advertising market. Big Tech claims that it simply presides over an open and free market, but in a truly free market the same party can’t represent the seller, the buyer, make the rules, and conduct the auction. And that is unacceptable in a free enterprise system – it hurts consumers and it hurts competition,” said Blumenthal.
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined eight of their colleagues in introducing the Sustaining Our Democracy Act. This legislation would provide $20 billion in mandatory federal funding over the next decade to help states and local governments support election administration, including by training and recruiting nonpartisan poll workers and election officials and increasing access to voting in underserved communities.
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined 17 of their colleagues in sending a letter to the leadership of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs requesting that the Committee hold a hearing on the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies in the United States Act. The bill would establish a formal commission to investigate, document, and acknowledge past injustices of the federal government’s Indian Boarding School Policies, including attempts to terminate Native cultures, religions, and languages; assimilation practices; and human rights violations.
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal attended rallies in support of reproductive freedom in Hartford and Wilton.
“Grateful to organizers of Hartford’s rally for reproductive freedom—activists who know that critical freedoms are about to be stripped away from women by a radical right SCOTUS. Great spirit & numbers today showed CT is ready for the fight ahead.”
“Energizing, inspiring calls to action from Voices for Choice in Wilton yesterday, with pride in CT’s recently passed safeguards, but urgent support for our federal Women’s Health Protection Act. Eloquent speakers urging that we must carry the fight forward.”
—U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (D-CT) visited the Connecticut State Pier with U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. Representative Joseph Courtney (CT-2), Governor Ned Lamont, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes, New London Mayor Michael Passero, representatives from Ørsted, Eversource, and Kiewit Infrastructure Co. and members of the building and construction trades.
Secretary Granholm’s visit to Connecticut underscored the importance of clean energy and highlighted the collaborative efforts in Connecticut and within the federal government to deploy renewable energy, reduce costs for families, increase manufacturing and create jobs.
— U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (D-CT) and U.S. Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) applauded the award of a $523,822 grant to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk to create a new, multimedia exhibit on the ecology and history of Long Island Sound.
The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), is funded by the American Rescue Plan and will support the development of an exhibit called “The Salt Marshes of Long Island Sound.” The grant will be matched with $331,558 in local funds, a significant investment for the Aquarium.
“The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk – with its innovative and creative programming – is a regional magnet for people of all ages,” said Blumenthal. “This funding enables the Aquarium to expand its vital role, enhancing the understanding and appreciation of the ecology of Long Island Sound and its shoreline.”
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) met with residents of Branford Manor apartments who for months have been complaining of unresolved mold and maintenance issues that have led to unsafe conditions for the residents. Residents have complained about persistent black mold in the apartment units, as well as other neglect of the property.
Branford Manor Apartments is a privately owned and managed complex of townhouse-type rental units in the city of Groton that operates with Section 8 subsidies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The complex is owned by Branford Manor Preservation LP of New York and includes 442 units in 47 townhouse buildings on about 38 acres.
—U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, visited Click Bond, Inc. in Watertown, a Connecticut manufacturer that produces specialty fasteners, screws, bushings, mounts, and adhesives for aerospace, maritime, and industrial uses. Blumenthal learned about the challenges facing defense manufacturers and discussed increased needs for defense manufacturing in light of the war in Ukraine.
“Click Bond creates innovative products that have been utilized in the space program & numerous defense projects. Wonderful to visit their Watertown facility yesterday & speak with their amazing managers & workers.”
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) visited Nuovo Pasta Productions in Stratford to tour their pasta production facility and learn more about the challenges facing local businesses. Nuovo Pasta Productions was founded in 1989 with a small pasta machine and a rolling pin and has grown into a company of 220 employees in Connecticut.
“Truly inspiring & exciting to visit Nuovo Pasta yesterday in Stratford—a fabulous American success story of hard work, great taste, & caring for consumers & staff. Watching the factory in action was wonderful—but tasting was the best.”
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) attended commencement ceremonies at Post University, St. Joseph’s University, and the University of New Haven.
“A proud, exciting day for Post University graduates & families—filling the Palace Theater in Waterbury with rollicking joy & applause. We need their skills & energy more than ever.”
“So inspired to join yesterday in celebrating fantastic St. Joseph’s University graduates—their exuberance raising the XL Center’s roof. Congrats to you, your families, & great educators.”
“A perfect sun-filled afternoon yesterday for University of New Haven’s commencement. President Kaplan & his fabulous faculty are doing fantastic work. Congrats to every graduate & your family.”
— U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) congratulated members of the Stamford Fire Department who were awarded the Medal of Valor by President Joe Biden for their heroic efforts in saving passengers of a truck stuck in freezing water during a blizzard.
“Congrats to John Colandro, Michael Rosero, & Chad Titus on being awarded the Medal of Valor. Your heroism & bravery when rescuing men trapped in a truck in the frigid waters of the Stamford Harbor is unparalleled. Stamford Fire Department, thank you for your unwavering service to the community.”