A visit from the helpers

Published 10:00 pm Monday, November 10, 2008

The sandy haired boy whispered, “You ask him.”

The petite girl next him replied, “No, you ask him.”

Finally, one brave voice spoke out. “How much does all that stuff weigh?”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The firefighter responded, “about 100 pounds,” as he lifted the heavy gear that keeps him safe.

Then, Connor Thrash said, “Well, can we try on your helmet?”

At Community Helper Day at Pike Liberal Arts School, questions flowed as freely as the water that pours from the hoses of the fire truck. The kindergarteners from Lea Sunday and Stacie Black’s classes were all ears. They listened attentively as representatives from the Troy Fire Department, Troy Police Department and Care Ambulance talked to them about the services they provide. The students responded with unending interest.

Officer Julita Brown of the Troy Police Department smiled the brightest smile and displayed her skills as a drill sergeant as she yelled “Good afternoon!” to the students. When the reply wasn’t loud enough for her, she followed with an, “I can’t hear you!” that could only lead to a hair-raising response from the tiny members of her audience. Then, she fielded questions ranging from “Why is that window between the seats of your car?” to “Is that a real gun?”

The drivers from Care Ambulance led the stream of wide-eyed 5 and 6-year-olds through the ambulance that serves as the EMT’s on-the-road office. But they gained the most attention of all when they said they also worked with patients that arrive on the helicopter.

The helicopter was noticeably missing from the line-up. It was being used to assist in an emergency, but the students were promised a highly anticipated rain check.

Firefighter Alan Pennington carefully lifted each child into the fire truck so he or she could take a closer look. The shiny knobs and gauges lining the body nearly hypnotized little Tripp Spivey, but he managed to maintain consciousness by raising and lowering his hand as often as a he could to get another question in.

It was a special day for the young students. They established a comfortable bond with each of the Community Helpers and were reminded by all to not be afraid in the event of an emergency. The responders were there to help.

This was exactly the point of the visit. These fine people are here to help the citizens of Pike County.

Scenes just like this can be found throughout Pike County as police officers, firefighters, EMT’s and other Community Helpers greet our youth and work to teach them where to look for help. The lessons are apparently working. Each student quickly replied with a confident yell “9-1-1” when asked “How would you call us if you needed us?”

It’s an exciting day for the elementary school students who find themselves on the receiving end of a visit from the Community Helpers.

All around our county, these fine people are protecting us and making our lives and the lives of our children safer.

The visit was ended with a hear-felt “thank you” to all and the students walked back to their classroom, knowing that they could rest easy with good guys like that on their side.

Wendy Ward can be reached at 670-6301 or via email at wendy.ward@troymessenger.com.