SEVIERVILLE — Thanks to a donation from the Great Smoky Mountain Dance Theater, the Sevier County Rescue Squad will have an easier time keeping kids safe when they transport them.
The Rescue Squad doesn’t handle emergency transports, but they often have to transport people who need a non-emergency ride after wrecks, or after they’ve gotten stuck due to flooding, icy roads or other conditions.
After one of their members, Courtney Sutton, completed a certification in child safety protection, she suggested they get RideSafer travel vests.
The vests offer a way to secure child passengers without carrying the larger child safety seats.
“Instead of a bulky seat, you’ve got a vest that can be strapped in using the seat belts,” said Becky Hill of the Rescue Squad.
“They will especially come in handy with public transports.”
Because the seats are smaller and easier to stow, they’ll also make it simpler to transport families that get stuck — they won’t need to transfer child safety seats from their car to the rescue squad vehicle.
Once the squad decided to get the new vests, the Great Smoky Mountains Dance Theater donated $1,200 to cover the costs.
The organization is a nonprofit that puts on a performance of The Nutcracker every year in Sevier County, especially focused on giving children a chance to dance in the classic ballet.
“We can use the money we make to help people in the area,” Artistic Director Elizabeth Williams said. “It makes it nice to be able to give back to the community.”