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RHFD receives Books to the Rescue donation
RHFD Naomi Havens
Naomi Havens of Books to the Rescue of Coastal Georgia, third from right, with Richmond Hill Fire Chief Ralph Catlett (white shirt) and firefighters, presents comfort bags to the department with items that can be given to children during rescue calls. - photo by Ted O'Neil

An emergency situation can be hard enough on adults, but for children it is an even more traumatic experience.

Thanks to Books to the Rescue of Coastal Georgia, the Richmond Hill Fire Department now has a way to better deal with that situation.

Naomi Havens, area director for the nonprofit group, donated three “comfort bags” to the department Thursday afternoon. The bags are filled with various items for children of different ages that firefighters can give them when responding to emergency calls.

“Our partnership with the fire department is a way to help calm children who find themselves in a time of crisis, as well as helping to bridge the gap between our First Responders and the public,” Havens said.

The bags are filled with things such as coloring books, stuffed animals, sticker books and picture books, each labeled for the appropriate-aged children.

“This will be a big help to keep children occupied and help take their minds off things,” Fire Chief Ralph Catlett said. “It can be tough for them not knowing what is going on.”

According to Books to the Rescue, 26 percent of children will witness or experience a traumatic event before the age of 4.

The bags also come with a survey that firefighters can use to keep track of which items they give away and how children responded to those items. Havens said that information will be used to restock the bags.

Havens said similar programs are already up and running in other states and have been well received. More information, including how to donate, can be found at

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