In celebration of EMS week, the Van Alstyne Fire Department hosted the first annual Teddy Bear Hospital on May 22nd. The children were asked to bring their teddy bears down to the community center to have them checked out by trained professionals.
Upon our arrival, the kids flew open their doors and rushed their bears straight over to a table of paramedics. This was serious. Thankfully, Van Alstyne’s own R. Brock, S. Dacus, J. O’Conell, C. Thompson, N. Williams, J. Powell, & L. Smith were there to help.
Kylie’s teddy bear had a diagnosed neck injury and needed its bow tied. The firefighter took care of it and gave the bear an arm wrap for good measure. My daughter was delighted. Logan’s bear however, was in desperate need of a shot. He gasped but was thrilled when they allowed him to administer the dose. The medic wrapped the bear’s tail in gauze before returning him to my son.
It was almost too cute for words. I found myself almost sorry our bears had been in such good shape. The Van Alstyne Quilt Shop had generously donated materials, as well as their time, to give stitches and patches to bears in need. We will certainly be keeping this in mind for next year.
Eventually, our kids took notice of the 4 fire trucks and their respective crews waiting for them in the parking lot. Howe, Tom Bean and Gunter Fire Departments had come out to show their support for the event. Tours of each vehicle and its equipment were given upon request. Various items of bunker gear had been set out for the kids to try on. They were even allowed to explore the cabs of each fire engine. Despite the countless introductions, questions and assists, the fire crews remained friendly and enthusiastic in their approach.
The last fire engine in particular, stood out. It belonged to the Tom Bean Fire Department and had been painted white. The children were very confused. Why wasn’t it red? It wasn’t even remotely red. When asked about it, the department responded that all fire companies would soon be making the switch from red to white because it made the truck more visible. Satisfied with the response, the kids joined their friends in Van Alstyne’s engine for one last hurrah. It was a school night and we would be heading back home soon.
May 22nd had been an exciting day for the local fire departments and the children they served. Many thanks to City Drug, GCEC, Independent Bank, Landmark Bank, & Sheep Boutique for sponsoring this event. We would like to thank the Van Alstyne, Howe, Tom Bean and Gunter Fire Departments as well as the Van Alstyne Quilt Shop for making the Teddy Bear Hospital a huge success! Your efforts are greatly appreciated and look forward to next year!