Marshfield Fire & Rescue Embraces Books to Help Calm Kids During Emergencies

Culver’s Sponsors REACH-A-Child Program to Help Comfort Kids in Emergencies

Emergency situations can be especially frightening to a child, but the Marshfield Fire & Rescue Department has taken an extra step to be a friendly presence.

Steve Bakos, MFRD Deputy Chief of EMS, made contact with company “REACH-A-Child” several months ago. Based in Madison, REACH-A-Child aims to put smiles on the faces of children in crisis through the power of books.

Whether the children are in the hospital, victims of domestic disturbance, or automobile accident or temporarily homeless, REACH-A-Child wants to help the first responders engage these children in a positive way.

REACH partners with local First Responders (whether a police officer, a firefighter or an EMT) to supply each vehicle with a REACH BAG — complete with 10 children’s books and 10 drawstring backpacks — which the First Responders keep in their vehicles to bring out when they encounter children-in-crisis.

The fire department has outfitted each of their ambulances with the books and plans to hand them out whenever they interact with children, whether it’s on a call or during a station tour.

“This just seemed like another really good way of connecting with kids,” Bakos said, adding that it’s a good option for older kids who may not want stuffed animals, which are also carried in the ambulances.

The bags were sponsored by Culver’s restaurant, and the fire department plans to keep the program a continued fixture in their vehicles.