Rescuers who read: Students, cops and firefighters make friends at Badges & Books

 Snoqualmie volunteer firefighter Cat Cotton read to students from one of her favorite books,
Snoqualmie volunteer firefighter Cat Cotton read to students from one of her favorite books, 'Hero Cat,' during the Badges & Books event at Cascade View Elementary School March 12.
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Students at Cascade View Elementary were treated with visits from all kinds of people in uniform March 12, during the Snoqualmie Police Department's annual Badges & Books event.

Volunteers from the Snoqualmie fire and police departments, including Police Chief Steve McCulley, as well as the King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and Duvall Police Department teamed up to visit each classroom during the day, answer questions about their work—did you know that Snoqualmie firefighters aim to be out the door “in under a minute” from the time they receive a call?—and let the class examine some of their gear.

"We're meeting 720 kids in two hours!" announced coordinating officer Nigel Draveling, who is hoping to expand the program to schools in North Bend in the future.

Badges and Books is a national program intended to introduce emergency personnel to children in a comfortable setting today, to help them feel safer around these officers in the more stressful situations they might meet them in some distant day.

Draveling has every intention of continuing the program, with the continued help of other badge-carrying volunteers.

"Without all these other agencies, we wouldn't be able to do this," he said.

Volunteer firefighter Cat Cotton answers questions from a curious class of fifth graders at Cascade View Elementary School.

Dressed for Wacky Wednesday, fifth graders in Kate Sharkey's classroom gave a colorful welcome to firefighter Cat Cotton, visiting the students for Badges and Books.

Katie Snyder makes a close inspection of a firefighter helmet at Cascade View Elementary School last month.

Lily Brady, center, is in the Wacky Wednesday spirit, but listens intently to a story read by Cat Cotton during Badges & Books.


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