DARIEN - EMS Post 53 is getting some needed technology upgrades with a recent grant from The Darien Foundation. The $20,500 grant will be used to install and configure a new network infrastructure along with integrated computer hardware and software. Officials say the new technology will help Post 53 educate, communicate and manage the organization more efficiently. "The new technology is a gamechanger for us," Post 53 Director Joe Larcheveque said in a statement. "We are so fortunate to have these new systems in place that are providing us with better tools with which to train our students and run our programs more efficiently while handling our town's emergencies." Darien EMS-Post 53 was recently presented the 2021 National EMS Award of Excellence. It handles about 1,600 emergency calls a year, while providing nearly 100 high school students annually with the opportunity to serve their community and become state-licensed Emergency Medical Technicians. The foundation and Post 53 worked collaboratively to determine the technological needs. "The heart of this grant was the consultation and the process reengineering of Post 53's systems," said Sarah Woodberry, the foundation's executive director. "This is another example of The Darien Foundation's emphasis on collaboration." The Darien Foundation's board designated a task force as part of the grant review process to assess the organization's needs. It was led by technology chair Sean Calvillo, who is also a member of Darien's IT Steering Committee and father to a "Postie." He worked with board member Larry Castellani , who is also the Darien Fire Department captain, and board member Eric Gaaserud, who is the father of two Posties and husband to Adult Supervisor Millyn Gaaserud. "This was an in-depth process, where our committee engaged in an advisory period to understand Post 53's needs before identifying the optimal technology solutions," Calvillo said. "Once we heard from Post 53 management and volunteers, we were able to help them prioritize, form a plan and ultimately present a multi-phase road map." Calvillo and his team facilitated installation of full network infrastructure, as well as a new flat screen television for the training room, which will enable supervisors to better illustrate and execute training scenarios, officials said. The Darien Foundation committee also made recommendations to help Post 53's fundraising efforts, internal communications and back-office workings. "We are already seeing such a huge difference in our day-to-day operations," Millyn Gaaserud said. Calvillo said he's happy the foundation is able to help the work Post 53 is doing to serve the town. "Knowing that we are enabling the critical and inspiring volunteers at Post 53 to work more efficiently has been incredibly rewarding," Calvillo said. The Darien Foundation is an independent, community-based public charity. It has awarded more than $5 million in grants for technology and capital initiatives since 1998.