At the February 28th Monthly Meeting of the Rhode Island Southern Firefighter's League Lori Roeleveld and Margaret Teehan of TriCounty Community Action Agency made a special presentation to those attending. Several large cases of teddy bears were donated by the agency to the League's 22 member departments to assist during emergency situations involving children as part of their ongoing community outreach programs.
Lori is the daughter of past League President and long serving Hope Valley Fire Chief, the late Fred Stanley. The presentation fittingly took place in the building dedicated to his honor, the Frederick A. Stanley Fire Headquarters to Stanley's successor as Chief and now the League's President, Justin Lee.
Chief Scott Barber, Director at Large of the League Board and Chief of the Carolina Fire District in Richmond suggested when distributing the bears they be called "Freddy Bears" in honor of Chief Stanley. Fred was well known for having teddy bears in the trunk of his car to assist and calm children when they found themselves in situations involving the fire department during emergencies. Several stories were also shared by those in attendance of Chief Stanley's motto of "putting the victim first" especially children. Numerous Chiefs also reported similar items in their vehicles thanks to Fred's example for many years.
TriCounty Community Action is dedicated to providing a helping hand to those in need and to build a foundation of self-sufficiency in Rhode Island. More information about their agency and services can be found on their website below. Each bear is sporting a TriCounty Community Action shirt with their logo.
The Southern League Board of Officers will assist in distributing the "Freddy Bears" to each Fire & EMS member agency over the next month for use during emergency calls in the future involving children. The Board extends its most sincere appreciation to TriCounty Community Action Agency for their generous contribution to our members, and we look forward to partnering together on more programs in the future.