Local police, firefighters build relationships with people with disabilities

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CHRISTIANSBURG (WSLS 10) -Saturday was a special day in the New River Valley centered around people with disabilities and how to better their life as well as their relationship with those who wear a badge.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with the Fire and Rescue Departments of Montgomery County, have joined forces to develop a program focusing on our community of individuals with disabilities.

The event called EFFORT: "Enabling Friends For Our Response Teams" set up special hands-on events for children and adults with disabilities like running obstacle courses with area police and fire fighters at Christiansburg High School.

Capt. Kim Haug with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department says the turnout was amazing.

"We have had people from organizations show up that we didn't even know was coming, and it's great," Haug said.

Haug says they hope to build trust between law enforcement and emergency rescue teams with community members with disabilities and their families.

"It's about building trust, and learning how to best help someone in an emergency situation," Haug said.

"That's why we have all different uniforms here. That's why we have fire and rescue here because they are all on the scenes of traffic accidents and when they see us, they are going to know this is a good thing," Haug said. "

They are going to see us and realize, these are my friends, these are my buddies and they are going to help me. Instead of making a bad situation worse we are making a bad situation better," Haug said.

The event taught children the proper method for contacting 9-1-1 as well as safety skills in escaping and even extinguishing fires.

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