Raymond Terrace firefighters will be better equipped to help children involved in emergency incidents after receiving a cuddly donation from the town’s Lions club.
Eighteen teddy bears have been donated to the Fire and Rescue station by Raymond Terrace Lions, which will be distributed by firefighters to youths that are in need of comfort during emergency call-outs.
“We’re very appreciative and thankful for the donation,” Raymond Terrace fire captain Dennis Peters said.
“It’s a thoughtful donation to us, but also to any children we will give them to. They will definitely be utilised.”
It is the second lot of bears Raymond Terrace Lions club has donated to emergency services.
The first box of bears, which have the unofficial name of ‘trauma teddies’, went to Port Stephens police in May.
Raymond Terrace Lions secretary Glenys Francis said the group was aiming to cover all three emergency services, and is looking to also donate a box of bears to the town’s NSW Ambulance service.
“It’s just a nice little bear for children to help them cope in certain situations that can be traumatising like car crashes or a house fire,” she said.
Mrs Francis and Raymond Terrace Lions Club president Judith Bee presented the box of bears to firefighters on Thursday, September 13.
Not just any bears, the teddies are specially made and distributed through Lions’ Crime Watch program to help youth in distress.
Operation Teddy Bear, as the project is called, was established in Victoria 30 years ago. About 12 months ago the project was rolled out nation-wide.
Lions clubs purchase the box of 18 bears, which cost $10 each, using funds it has raised and donate them to groups and organisations that come into contact with distressed or traumatised youths, such as police, firefighters and paramedics.
Ms Francis said to raise the funds to purchase the box of 18 teddies, Lions members had to sell about 70 sausage sandwiches.