FAIRBORN — Fairborn Intermediate School students met varying safety agency officers face-to-face as part of its inaugural Hero Day.
Custodian Steven Puckett initiated the event as he felt it was important for the students to understand that the individuals behind the safety agencies are there to help although they are sometimes portrayed as “bad guys.”
“It’s great to have the kids see and talk to the safety enforcement officers up close,” Puckett said. “They’re nice guys and they’re here to help.”
Hero Day started Friday morning when the students observed Care Flight in action as it took a landing near the facility. They then had the opportunity to see and sit inside police, fire and military vehicles and observe equipment by varying safety agencies with the help of the individuals who utilize the items as part of their job duties.
Present agencies included the Fairborn Police and Fire Departments, Ohio Game Warden, Care Flight Miami Valley Hospital, US Marshals, Ohio Task Force One, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Military Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI.
“It’s gratifying,” said Fairborn City Schools School Resource Officer Nate Penrod with a smile on his face. “… They get to see our equipment. [It’s nice to] see them excited and build relationships. We’re not bad guys, we can be fun.”
The students hopped in the front and back seats of the police vehicles and took turns sitting behind the wheel of the fire truck. Some students asked Penrod to turn on the lights and sirens belonging to the Fairborn Police Department vehicle, to which the students jumped and laughed when he did so.
On the other side of the lot where the vehicles were parked, students took turns holding a police shield belonging the US Marshals. When they tried on handcuffs, they pointed out their lack of mobility. As officials slipped vests over the students’ head’s, the children took notice of the heaviness of the apparel.
“It’s entertaining and fun to give back and see the kids,” said Fairborn Firefighter/Paramedic Gregg Wert. “It’s positive.”