MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) – For the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, “EFFORT” is an acronym: Enabling Friends For Our Response Teams.
It’s also an event started seven years ago to connect the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office with the special needs community.
“They need to know that when they see us, it’s a good thing they can be reassured that we’re going to take care of them,” Montgomery County Sheriff Rick Partin said.
“My son really likes it and I think it’s good for the officers to get to know them as well and it makes him feel better about being around the emergency services, loud noises, what stuff,” said Heather Hall, a mother of a disabled child. said.
His son, Michael, participated in the EFFORT Day event on June 25.
“I think it’s good for officers to know the kids who are in the community, if they ever come across them,” she said.
Michael got to show off his first responder skills through an obstacle course and kicking through a door.
“It was easy to open it because I have strong muscles,” he said.
“The best part is what we see next in the community,” said Montgomery County Sheriff’s Capt. Kim Haug. “When we see the children in these events, and they remember us from here, children tell us that they heard an ambulance and that it was not scary because they asked them to ‘turn off the lights.”
The goal is to show people with special needs that first responders want to help. Partin says this event does just that.
“When they see us they run to us and hug us because they’ve been through a traumatic event and they see something or someone they associate with good and they’re there to help and c is the goal,” he said. “That’s what we want to happen.”
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