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Thursday, August 18, 2022
Business owner praises local first responders

Local business owner Maria Mavridis says she doesn't know how NOTL's first responders do it.

She praised them and brought them water after a senior man collapsed on Market Street and was taken to hospital Saturday.

The man was showing no vital signs.

Emergency crews tried to resuscitate the man for several minutes before transferring him to an ambulance.

NOTL fire crews were the first on the scene, though they didn’t have information about the man’s well-being.

Fire Chief Nick Ruller said there typically aren't follow-ups in such cases.

Maria Mavridis, who operates the nearby Cork’s and Orzo restaurants, was outside bringing water to the first responders.

She brought them bottles of cold water and praised them for the work they do.

While she didn’t see exactly what happened, she heard “the sirens and brought the water.”

“Whenever I see the volunteer firefighters anywhere on the street, I always bring water,” she said, adding that firefighters helped her when there was a fire beside her family’s restaurant.

“When the place beside Bistro Six-One — that's my dad's building — went down, they saved our building. (It) could have gone up with it,” she said.

She also said she knows many firefighters from growing up in town.

“They all live here. I've gone to school with a lot of them,” she said.

Mavridis also happened to be driving by before firefighters arrived at the scene of last Wednesday's head-on crash on Niagara Stone Road that killed 60-year-old Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Liz Hawley.

She pulled over, she said, but there was nothing she could do to help.

“My initial instinct is always pull over, get out and help, but as soon as I looked over I couldn't do it. I don't know how the firefighters of this town do it. I mean, they are amazing.”

The collision “was bad. Really bad,” she said.

While it’s been a rough week for her, she said it must be even harder for first responders and the families involved.

She praised the work that Niagara-on-the-Lake firefighters do.

“I get goosebumps, I can't even think like how they do it. And on a volunteer basis. It's crazy to me and it takes a special someone, especially after what I saw the other day,” she said.

“To be honest I said to dad as I was driving away and I saw the firefighters coming, all I kept thinking was, 'Oh my God, my poor guys, what they're gonna see.’  ”

“It's just hard when you know they're from here,” she said, also giving praise to EMS workers.

She said she found out it was Hawley later but doesn’t know who the 32-year-old driver of the second vehicle was.

Mavridis remembers working with Hawley in the past.

“She was amazing. I worked for her when I did the sponsorship for the Niagara Jazz Festival. And she was just an amazing, amazing woman.”