To help children who become ill, injured or scared when they or an adult who is traveling with them are in need of help, we added a new, cuddlier, member to the RDU Fire-Rescue team. Meet the RDU Fire-Rescue Bear, decked out in his fireman’s hat and RDU jacket, ready to give comfort to a sick or injured child.
A Desire To Comfort
Last July, I was contacted by members of the Fire-Rescue staff to assist in selecting their newest member – a stuffed animal for children during emergency calls. I was thrilled. The fact that our first responders were thinking of a special way to look after our youngest customers made me admire them even more.
One of our firemen explained that a stuffed animal can have a calming effect on a child, which helps the first responders as they care for the children. If an adult is the one in need of care, it will also help as they treat them.
Did you know that each year RDU’s team of 19 emergency responders answers more than 1,500 calls for medical, fire and emergency assistance. The vast majority of these are medical in nature. That works out to be more than four calls per day.
At first, we thought a stuffed toy Dalmatian would work well since that breed is closely
associated with firefighters in the United States. Though a black and white Dalmatian would be super adorable, I read in a news article that in some cultures dogs are not held in high esteem. At RDU, we serve an international customer base, so we ruled out the Dalmatian.
Next, a teddy bear came to mind. After receiving several samples, which at times made my office look as if it were a toy store, none worked. They were too big, too small or too fluffy. I joked that we were looking for the “Goldilocks” bear – the one that was “just right.”
The moment we found the bear in the fireman’s hat and jacket our hearts melted. He was the one. And, when our firemen tested him, he fit perfectly in their medical response packs.
Ready For Service
Our RDU Fireman Bear is now at the ready to help calm a child who may be injured or traveling with an adult who has a medical emergency. According to one of our assistant fire chiefs, the response has been excellent. Children love the RDU Bear. Their faces light up, easing their fears and helping to speed the care our Fire-Rescue team gives.
Name Our Bear
Now, our bear needs a name. Can you help us? Please tell me in the comments below what you think its name should be.