Idaho EMS Agencies Receive Stuffed Animals for Pediatric Patients

Idaho EMS Agencies Receive Stuffed Animals for Pediatric Patients

News Jan 12, 2018

Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho

Jan. 12—Zach Schwager didn't know when he started his Eagle Scout project that an entire room in his home would be filled with stuffed animals.

Schwager, 17, decided that instead of building a lending library or repairing a welcome sign for his final Boy Scouts of America project, he would collect stuffed animals and then donate them to each of the volunteer emergency medical services in Latah County.

He said he first got the idea from his dad, who is a paramedic for the Moscow Volunteer Fire Department. He said his dad told him that when they are responding to a call regarding a child, they often try to give them a stuffed animal.

Each of the departments recently ran out of stuffed animals, Schwager said, so he decided to help them restock.

"I thought this project would help the community more," he said.

Between Oct. 30 and Nov. 17, Schwager placed a box in each Moscow elementary school, the middle school, Moscow High School and the public library where students and community members could donate new or gently used stuffed animals.

Schwager said he was particularly surprised at the number of donations he received from fellow high school students, saying he had to empty the box on several occasions. He said before the donation deadline was up, the collection box at the middle school was also overflowing.

"I was surprised at how many I got," he said.

In just three weeks, Schwager collected more than 600 donations.

Continue Reading

On Thursday he presented the EMSs in Deary, Potlatch, Troy, Genesee, Juliaetta-Kendrick and Moscow with several bags of stuffed animals each.

Donna Opresik, president of the Latah County EMS and member of the Deary Ambulance service, said that although the departments often receive donations, they run out quickly when they are responding to house fires, car accidents and sick kids.

"Any time we respond to a kid call or we have a child that is scared, they get a toy, whether they are transported (to the hospital) or not," she said.

Opresik said each of the stuffed animals have a name and a purpose and hopefully will provide some comfort to a child who is having a bad day.

She added that she was impressed Schwager thought of the Latah County EMS.

"It's great he wanted to do something for us—to give back to us for everything we do for our communities," she said.

If Schwager's final project is approved by the Boy Scouts of America, he will receive his Eagle Scout badge in just a few weeks. Schwager said he has been working toward getting his Eagle Scout Badge since he was 8 years old and a Cub Scout.

Katie Short
Amber Williams, 24, gave her 17-month-old son cocaine and put him into a cold bath after he consumed the opiates, requiring five doses of Narcan from firefighters to revive him.
Onslow County EMS reported the frequent use of Narcan last year cost the agency $19,000.
Tonya Johnson, 43, was hit and killed by a pickup truck when she exited her vehicle on a highway.
Hazleton firefighters gathered used equipment and a truck from local companies to donate to Santo Domingo's fire department.
Nine Mile Rescue Squad is hosting a fundraiser to help pay for the captain's young nephew's funeral.
Trauma surgeons led the 'Train the Trainers' class for first responders in response to the increased frequency of mass shootings.
The city of Victorville aims to run the San Bernardino County Fire Department to save an estimated 5.2% on operational costs after 5 years.
After two people died falling through ice, the Wichita Fire Department is warning people to stay away from frozen ponds as warmer temperatures thins the ice.
The 55-bed Addiction and Stabilization Center offers immediate and long-term care to overdose patients to relieve hospital emergency rooms.
In December, Care Flight awarded 20 of its critical care medical team members with recognition for advanced study, skills, and achievements.
New default settings on electronic medical records systems remind doctors to limit opioid prescriptions to 10 pills for acute pain treatment.
The March 31st, 2018 event is a nation-wide, free course on the principles of bleeding control and providing first aid until the arrival of emergency responders.
Residents affected by the October Bear Fire raised $4,500 for Boulder Creek Fire Department to show their gratitude for saving their homes.
The second annual First Responder Challenge raises money for families of personnel killed in the line of duty.
Quick-fire last-day sessions examine various aspects of running programs.