Fla. EMS vehicles to have teddy bears to comfort kids
50 teddy bears were donated and put in more than 30 emergency vehicles
By Shirley George
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — In times of emergency, offering comfort to children in crisis is important.
And thanks to a donation of more than 50 teddy bears to Charlotte County Fire & EMS recently, more children -- and adults, too -- will be comforted when tragedy strikes.
The donations were given recently to Fire Chief Dennis DiDio by Campbell's Enrolled Agents & Company, Inc. The company was once known as Stevens Tax Services, Inc.
David Campbell, owner of the company, located at 405 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, and his staff presented the teddy bears to Chief DiDio.
The teddy bears were placed in more than 30 emergency vehicles. When emergency vehicles are dispatched to an emergency call, the bears are used to comfort children in a time of distress.
According to Campbell, the Florida chapter of enrolled agents started Teddy Bears for Kids many years ago.
'Since 2006, our company has asked clients to donate one or more teddy bears to the Charlotte County Fire/EMS,' he said. 'One client claims his donations over the years came around full circle when he and his child were in an auto accident. When the emergency responders arrived, his child was comforted with a teddy bear.'
Dee Hawkins, Fire & EMS spokesperson, said, 'The bears are given to adults as well, and especially the elderly who also need reassurance during a stressful situation.'
Hawkins added, 'The Fire/EMS appreciates the generosity of community members. Without their help, many public education programs would not be possible. The donation is one more way the Fire/EMS and community members are making your emergency a little bit easier for you.'
The excess teddy bears are given to children at Christmas during the Santa Firehouse Pancake Breakfast at Station 12 in Deep Creek and Station 4 at Gulf Cove. The breakfasts are open to all local children. Hawkins said that 300 to 450 children enjoy the breakfasts and gifts from Santa each year.
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