Special Students In Bradley County Receive Bicycle Helmets For Tornado Safety

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Children from the Comprehensive Development Class at Waterville Elementary in Cleveland testing their bicycle helmets which were donated by Children’s Hospital so they will have extra protection during a tornado warning.  Pictured from left to right, are Noah Bishop, Jason Rahal, Chandler Gates, Andy Gutherie, Javonte Lazenby, Tyler Ruback, Luke Cook, Britney Wall, and Kaleigh Bass.
Children from the Comprehensive Development Class at Waterville Elementary in Cleveland testing their bicycle helmets which were donated by Children’s Hospital so they will have extra protection during a tornado warning. Pictured from left to right, are Noah Bishop, Jason Rahal, Chandler Gates, Andy Gutherie, Javonte Lazenby, Tyler Ruback, Luke Cook, Britney Wall, and Kaleigh Bass.

When the Safe and Sound Program at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger received a request for bicycle helmets for a Bradley County school, little did the staff know just how important the helmets would be for some very special students. 

Several months ago, parents and teachers from Waterville Elementary paused to remember how very fortunate they were after the April 27, 2011 tornadoes. Several other schools and homes in the area were damaged by the storms, and children are still traumatized by signs of inclement weather.  However, some students can feel a little safer the next time there is a tornado warning at their school. 

School nurses Reyne Pohl from Waterville Elementary and Dorothy Philips from Taylor Elementary had an idea that would eventually help protect special education students during a tornado warning. 

“We have 27 students between the ages of five and ten years old who were unable to protect their heads with books like the other students in their school,” said Ms. Pohl.  “We did not have enough staff to help hold books over their heads during tornado drills, and they were left unprotected.” 

The nurses contacted Cathy Jennings with the Children’s Hospital Ronald McDonald Care Mobile whose medical service outreach in Bradley County created a safety partnership between the school system and the hospital.  Coy Ellis, Children’s Hospital Safe and Sound Coordinator, was asked if Safe and Sound could donate bicycle helmets so the children could wear them during a tornado warning. 

“We have a wonderful relationship with our regional outreach,” said Ms. Jennings.  “We uncovered a need, and it spoke volumes to see it answered so quickly.” 

After the helmets were delivered, they were labeled with each student’s name.  When there is a warning, the student or teacher will go to the closet, retrieve the helmet, and make sure each helmet is snug on the child’s head. 

“We labeled them with the child’s name so they will fit properly,” said Ms. Pohl.  “And, if something happens to the child, he or she can be easily identified.” 

The children recently participated in a mini drill to test the new policy with the bicycle helmets.  The teachers and parents thought it was a huge success, and are extremely grateful for the support from Children’s Hospital. 

“This was just one step further in keeping the children safe while at school,” said Ms. Pohl.

“It was one of the most creative ideas we have heard in a long time,” said Mr. Ellis.  “I am looking forward to working with other schools in the region to provide this same service.” 


Lu And Liu Take First Place In Lee’s Piano Competition

Yun Lu and Vincent Liu took first place in the 12th annual Lee University piano competitions for the collegiate and pre-collegiate divisions, respectively. The award ceremony concluded the International Piano Festival and Competition held June 12-18.  For the pre-collegiate division, second place was awarded to Jonathan Reichenberger, with third place going to Eriko Darcy ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern's GED Center To Hold Orientation

Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) GED Center is holding an orientation for the public on  June 28 and July 12 at 2 p.m.  Visitors will learn what to expect if you choose to enroll in the college’s GED preparatory classes at the college’s Chattooga County location. These free sessions will be held at the Summerville Adult Education Center at 152 Senior ... (click for more)

Preserving 90-Year-Old Grammar School Just One Of Challenges Facing Town, Signal Council Told

Rather than spend millions upgrading Signal Mountain ’s historic grammar school so it can continue to house the Mountain Arts Community Center (MACC), it would make more sense to incorporate that project into a larger multi-pronged one that would solve several issues facing the community, according to town manager Boyd Veal.   For example, Mr. Veal said, the current ... (click for more)

Firefighters Put Out Fire In Compost Pile At City's Wood Recycling Center

Chattanooga firefighters were called to a fire at the city's wood recycling center on N. Hawthorne Street around noon on Sunday. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said the smoke and flames could be seen from several miles away.   Firefighters with five fire companies worked to get the blaze under control, using master streams from two aerials and some hand-held hoselines. The ... (click for more)

Improvements Needed At Entrance To Wilcox Tunnel

I am writing this letter to bring to your attention to a city traffic issue that needs to be addressed immediately, the sooner the better. I can see no large cost factor.   Recently, while as a concerned citizen, removing trash and litter from the entry/exit area of the Wilcox Tunnel on the side that runs into Chamberlain Avenue, I fully realized that this area could ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)