Chris Hite, a firefighter/paramedic with Jackson Township Division of Fire, has “other duties as assigned” as part of his day-to-day emergency runs on Medic 203. Hite not only treats and transports Jackson Township residents, but he also gives children stuffed animals to calm their fears when they ride on the medic unit. A “stuffed critters” box with new, small stuffed animals is tucked snuggly into a compartment on Medic 203 as well as all township medic units.
“The stuffed animals comfort the scared children when they ride on the medic,” Hite said. “We can tell the difference.”
Jackson Township Division of Fire is one of many fire departments that give stuffed animals to children to ease their fears during runs.
“Our paramedics have given hundreds of stuffed animals to children undergoing stressful situations when they have gone on runs the last several years,” said Capt. Bill Dolby. “A local service group started this tradition years ago, and we’ve just continued it.”
Donations of new, small stuffed animals – even from a dollar store – are being accepted at all Jackson Township Division of Fire stations in Grove City. Because of sanitary concerns and storage limitations, only small, new stuffed animals will be accepted.
- Station 201, 4343 Grove City Road
- Station 202, 3650 Hoover Road
- Station 203, 2650 London-Groveport Road
“We don’t normally put out a request for donations, but because we’ve given out so many stuffed animals, our supply is almost depleted,” said firefighter/paramedic Dan Levesque. “We go on toddler runs all the time, and the stuffed animals seem to calm down the children and help them trust us a little bit more.”