Friday, December 04, 2020

Person of the Week

Eddie Alberino: Helping Drive the Direction of Clinton

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Eddie Alberino is a longtime volunteer for several of the organizations that help make Clinton safe and welcoming. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Eddie Alberino is a longtime volunteer for several of the organizations that help make Clinton safe and welcoming. (Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)

It’s hard to find someone in Clinton who doesn’t know Eddie Alberino. From politics to helping people in emergencies, Eddie has had quite a journey in Clinton.

Eddie has lived in Clinton since the early 1990s, and quickly became involved in the town. For 25 years Eddie has been an EMT for the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department. Eddie had experience as a truck driver from 1975 to 1990, so driving an ambulance was a natural transition, he says.

What may have been unusual to his coworkers was Eddie’s gregarious nature.

“Nobody had ever met anyone like me. I’m very outgoing,” Eddie explains with a laugh. “I still love it, I can drive anything.”

In addition to his EMT duties, Eddie also joined the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department and has served in various ranks at both Station Two and the Fire Department Headquarters on Route One. Eddie is certified as a fire investigator and as a CPR instructor.

“I love teaching. Every two years I do a class with like 80 people or so. I’ve been doing it for years and I still love it,” Eddie says.

Eddie notes that during his time he has been named firefighter of the year two times.

One position of which Eddie is particularly proud to hold is that of a burning official for the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. There are certain materials and substances that can and can’t be burned due to environmental concerns.

“Painted wood or pallets, for example, where you don’t know what could have been placed on them, you can’t burn,” says Eddie.

As a burning official Eddie approves fire pits and helps to supervise burns of approved materials.

“People think they can burn anything they want, but you can’t. You need to regulate it. I love doing it” Eddie says.

Asked for a common example of something that’s prohibited to burn, Eddie doesn’t hesitate with his answer: leaves.

“I do my job one thousand percent and I don’t bend on the leaves,” he says.

In addition to his work with Clinton’s emergency services, Eddie is an active member of the boards that monitor Clinton’s future development. Eddie is on his second stint on both the Inland Wetlands Commission and the Planning & Zoning Commission (PZC). The wetlands commission is an appointed body while the PZC is an elected position. Eddie won a seat as a Republican candidate in the 2019 elections.

The wetlands commission deals with applications for construction that could have environmental impacts on the wetlands, while the PZC deals with applications for new construction anywhere and considers more than just environmental impacts.

“I like to give back to the town and community, that’s why I joined those two boards,” Eddie says.

Eddie says he enjoys serving on those boards because of the impact they have on applications that benefit the entire community. For example, both boards will review applications concerning the future redevelopment of the Old Morgan School and the former Unilever property. The proposals for both properties have experienced robust interest from the community.

While many residents complain about the need for development in town, Eddie says he was motivated to get involved.

“The only way to solve a problem is to be involved in a problem and be a solution,” Eddie states.

Additionally, Eddie says his background as a burn official and fire investigator relates to his work on those boards, because of his familiarity with the kinds of materials or conditions that can be hazardous.

“Being in the fire department you see a lot of things. They all intersect,” says Eddie.

Eddie was born in New Haven and grew up in the West Haven area with his five siblings.

“We had a great life,” he says. “My father opened the first-ever RadioShack store in Connecticut.”

Eddie dropped out of school and signed up for the United Stated Air Force in 1972, motivated by his peers from the neighborhood who were doing the same.

“I made a promise to my father I’d get my high school diploma and I did that in 1975,” he proudly notes.

Eddie is semi-retired now, and says he likes to work part time to keep busy.

“I love living in Clinton,” he says. “I’d never move from the shoreline and I like helping people.”


Eric O’Connell covers news for Clinton for Zip06. Email Eric at e.oconnell@shorepublishing.com.

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