The Cuddliest Firefighter

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.

Considering Cultures

At first, we thought a stuffed toy Dalmatian would work well since that breed is closely

Our new RDU Fire-Rescue bear needs a name! Tell us in the comments below what your suggestion!

Our new RDU Fire-Rescue bear needs a name! Tell us in the comments below what your suggestion!

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.

About Jane Martin

Customer Relations Manager Jane oversees the Airport Authority’s Customer Relations Department, which includes everything from customer feedback to mystery shopping to setting service standards. She also manages the airport’s recognition and rewards programs. When Jane isn’t answering a customer’s question or looking like a Secret Service agent, she can be found wearing Carolina blue while her cocker spaniels, Zoe and Bella, a.k.a. “The Divas,” take her for a walk in north Raleigh.
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14 Responses to The Cuddliest Firefighter

  1. Chip says:

    Name him: Chuck, the Teddy Bear!!

  2. Sharon Bellmore says:

    His name should be RUDY, for RDU

  3. dlnc says:

    I would name the bear R.D. (or “Artie”), named for RDU Airport!

  4. Karyn says:

    How about BIRGER (pronounced beer-ger)? Birger is a Scandinavian name from Old Norse, bjarga, meaning “to help, to save, to protect”.

  5. Carmen Watson says:

    Here I have some suggestions from the volunteer ambassadors at RDU:
    * “RUDI” for RDU, Intl
    * Care-bear
    * Ruffy Duffy Uffy
    * Rudy Duddy Uddy
    * Ray Lee Durm

  6. Nancy Ross says:

    I suggest just calling him “Buddy”

  7. Eli says:

    Name him Connie. Like the Lockheed Constellations.

  8. Doug Carter says:

    Name that bear.

    Captain T.
    Short for Captain Teddy.
    Red helmet is Capt colors.

  9. Carmen Watson says:

    Here are few more suggestions from volunteer ambassadors…..






  10. Alison says:

    So many possibilities! How about “Raleigh” ?

  11. Will says:

    You should name him Mr. Piedmont.

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