The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 21, 2013

Scary environment turns into a safety-centered one



“You have to be calm in every aspect when you’re working with kids with disabilities,” Altepeter said. “They get huge lessons being around these kids. They see how they react to things and know that they’re human. Everyone is different in their own way, they just wanted to be treated the same.”

When Cody Seifert of Henderson was hauled into the ambulance Monday, he got a chance to experience something he watched mother go through not too long ago. Seifert had to come to the rescue when his mother had an allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting.

“I went and called 911 and told them where I was,” Seifert said.

Madsen watched as Seifert had his turn in the ambulance. She said another benefit to the event is her students had a chance to meet new people and learn social skills for everyday life. They were interacting, communicating and having fun.

The fun part was solidified with a trip to the Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center for pizza and swimming.

“This will be a topic of conversation for months,” Madsen said.

Reed said he is hoping other area fire departments think about hosting similar events. He wasn’t sure what to expect Monday and was happy to see things run smoothly with help from his crew, teachers from the school and parents.

Dave Carlson, one of several firefighters who helped out, said he was enjoying the morning as much as the students. It was his job to help kids shoot water from a hose at a spinning target.

“For me, this is just a fun day,” he said.

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