Nick Libretto is not only the second-generation president of Cape Coral, Fla.-based ABC Pest Control, but spent 18 years as president of the Certified Pest Control Operators of Southwest Florida. He has also spent much of his career as a fireman — and knows well the extra workload firefighters and other first responders are shouldering as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Overtime hours, stress, time away from families and daily exposure to the virus as these professionals tend to health and other emergencies are just a few of the reasons why Libretto and his son, also named Nick, decided to celebrate first responders and medical professionals in a unique way.
For years, Libretto has used a decommissioned fire truck to bring community awareness to such things as cancer fundraising. His latest vehicle, a 1985 Sutphen tower truck purchased in January, was ideal for his idea: To visit various hospitals, sheriff’s offices and other first responder facilities with a banner hanging from the extended ladder that reads “You Are Our Heroes.” They then supply the local team with some donuts and other goodies from a local Krispy Kreme, which gives the Librettos a discount so they can reach more facilities as a result. The Librettos and their truck have been to 23 facilities so far, with more visits planned in the coming weeks.
After receiving permission from each facility, the Librettos park the vehicle for about six hours in an area — usually, a nearby field or unused parking lot — where both facility occupants and passers-by can see the banner. Many vehicles honk and wave, joining in the appreciation, and the event gets some local media attention to spread the reminder that we should be grateful for the everyday heroes of first responders and medical teams.
As Libretto recently explained to the Cape Coral News-Press, he has four daughters who are in the medical and related fields, and he “just wanted to show appreciation for everybody out there.”
“ABC Pest Control has been in business for over 41 years, and we support our entire community in any way possible,” Libretto tells Pest Management Professional magazine. “We participate in the Relay for Life events; we visit Golosano’s Childrens Hospital for events; and we ‘deliver’ Santa to the Cape Coral Tree Lighting event every year. We believe serving our community is an integral part of our business.”
Read more COVID-19 coverage here: MyPMP.net/COVID-19