A national liquor brand is making hand sanitizer to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and this week Pernod-Ricard USA shipped two 55-gallon barrels of the gooey stuff to public safety officials in Acushnet.

A decision was quickly made to donate one of those barrels to first responders in Fairhaven.

“Fairhaven is our primary mutual aid partner and we are theirs,” said Fire Chief Kevin Gallagher, who first consulted with Police Chief Christopher Richmond. “We are in a position to help them out during a time of need. We are simply paying it forward.”

Pernod-Ricard is manufacturing hand sanitizer at all of its domestic distilleries, including Smooth Ambler Spirits in West Virginia, Rabbit Hole Distillery in Kentucky and at its TX Whiskey Distillery in Texas. The material is being donated to communities to help fight the COVID-19 virus.

Acushnet resident and former selectman David Wojnar made the connection after learning that Acushnet public safety personnel were running low.  He arranged with Tara Engel of the liquor company to have the barrels shipped to Acushnet free of charge.

“Distilleries like Pernod Ricard are stepping up and making hand sanitizer. I am really thankful that Pernod Ricard shared with us some of their supply. It is a real nice gesture and will go a long way in our small town,” Wojnar said.

“This donation will make certain that our first responders have enough hand sanitizer to meet both our short and long term needs,” said Police Chief Richmond. “It couldn’t have come at a better time.”

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