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.” 


Student Design Wins ‘Moc My Ride’ Contest

Be on the lookout on campus or in downtown Chattanooga for bikes wrapped with a design of UTC colors with the Chattanooga skyline. UTC student Mikey Clavin’s design was chosen in the first ‘Moc My Ride’ contest, a partnership between Bike Chattanooga and UTC Athletics. The ‘Moc My Ride’ contest was an open competition inviting UTC students to create a unique bike design to be ... (click for more)

UTC Computer Science, Electrical Engineering Students Participated In Maker Faire

Dr. Craig Tanis and a group of UTC computer science and electrical engineering students took the blue and gold to Maker Faire in Chattanooga, described as “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on earth.”  Families were invited to First Tennessee Pavilion where people showed what they have made and shared what they learned. Dr. Tanis, who teaches Video Game Development in the College ... (click for more)

Jo Ann Cronan Charged With Bribing Voters In Polk County; Similar Probe Underway In Monroe County

A Polk County woman has been charged with bribing voters. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began an investigation on July 24 into allegations of illegal activities related to the August general election in Polk County. The investigation was commenced at the request of District Attorney General Stephen Crump. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, along with Calvin Rockholt, ... (click for more)

Shooting At Woodlawn Apartments Claims Life Of Apprentice Dequan Berry, 20; Victim Shot Multiple Times

Apprentice Dequan Berry, 20, was identified as the victim in a shooting on Monday. The  shooting happened late Monday night at the Woodlawn Apartments. At approximately 10:57 p.m.. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a gunshot wound call at 2300 Wilson St. Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to multiple ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)