Print First Responders Day a hit with the kids
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 23 April 2008 11:55

For a criminal, the lights and sirens of racing police cars can cause concern. For an elementary school student, it’s one of the coolest things in the world.

Students at Camp Verde United Christian School had a blast April 16 for First Responders Day, an annual event that lets children see first hand some of the tools of the emergency response trade, including fire trucks, police cars and a crowd favorite, the Angel One medevac helicopter.

Aside from serving as a conversation piece for young boys to discuss how they would best employ the helicopter to fight bad guys, bringing this equipment and the men and women who use it to the children serves another important purpose, said Donna Hazlewood, a paramedic with Lifeline.

“It’s important that the children get exposed to all this and not be afraid of it,” Hazlewood said.

When there’s an emergency, a child’s level of comfort with police officers, firefighters or paramedics could make all the difference as to the outcome.
Hazlewood, who used to work for Guardian Air, first got involved with the idea of First Responders Day when her son was in grade school several years ago.

In addition to the helicopter, this year’s event brought together the Yavapai-Apache Police Department, the Camp Verde Fire District and the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, which provided K-9 officer Jake to give a demonstration of how the marshal’s office uses dogs to detect drugs and take down suspects.

It almost didn’t happen last week, school administrator Robin Showers said. Several emergency units were answering calls, but fortunately, everyone’s schedules were cleared in time for the event.

“It just all came together,” Showers said.

Mark Lineberger
Larson Newspapers