By: Ally Stevens
What an exciting day it was for Amber, one of our awesome 15 year old teens! Not only was it her last inpatient visit at Children's Hospital, but the bomb squad came to visit her. The smile on Amber's face lit up the entire room! Amber's role model, Sergeant Colleen Bristow of the Pittsburgh Police Department, asked Officer Schrader and Officer Tritinger to come show Amber what being a bomb squad technician is all about. I think I can speak for all of us and say we learned A TON of new, interesting information about a day in the life of someone on the bomb squad. We were so surprised when the men showed up with lots of gear including their very own bomb squad robot. They even let Amber try it out- of course she caught on right away. In addition to their robot, the guys brought a complete bomb proof uniform- COOL! Amber's mom decided she was up for the task and she tried it on! This suit adds about 50 pounds, plus 20 more for the helmet- she got a workout today!
We are so glad that Officer Schrader and Officer Tritinger were able to share some of their stories with us and tell us about how they came to be bomb squad technicians. Did you know there are only about 3,500 technicians across the nation? And we got to meet 2 of them- how awesome! The visit ended perfectly when Amber was able to try on an authentic police bulletproof vest. She sure showed her strength because that vest is not lightweight!
Thank you to Sergeant Colleen Bristow for making this all happen and to the two wonderful bomb squad technicians Officer Schrader and Officer Tritinger. Finally, CONGRATULATIONS to Amber on her last inpatient visit. We are SO proud of you.
By: Jen Lutz
The men and women of the North Huntingdon Township Police Department are quite a tight-knit bunch! They even consider the department a family. On Wednesday, June 17, 2015 they welcomed the newest and youngest member of their family. Much to his surprise, nine year old Connor Vickers was sworn in as an Honorary Patrolman by the NHTPD Chief of Police at the North Huntingdon Township Board of Commissioners meeting that evening. Prior to the ceremony, Officer Mark Hamilton presented Connor with a copy of his oath of office. Officer Hamilton explained that in order to be sworn in Connor needed to sign his oath. When Connor looked at the signatures of the individuals who previously signed the document, he exclaimed that he was excited to sign it, as long as it was okay that “I can’t sign in cursive yet.” Officer Hamilton let Connor know that was quite alright.
As soon as all of the of the signing was taken care of, Connor received a personalized NHTPD uniform. Officer Hamiliton told Connor that he will be, “expected to wear the uniform whenever you are at the department or performing official police business.” Connor was thrilled and truly felt like a member of the family in his uniform.
Shortly after donning his new uniform Connor, his family, many members of the NHTPD, and of course, the crew from CCChampions, made their way to the North Huntingdon Township Board of Commissioners meeting. The local TV stations were all set up to record Connor’s ceremony.
The first order of business for the board was the swearing in of Honorary Patrolman Vickers! Connor’s family and Officer Hamilton looked on proudly as Connor took his oath of office.
Perhaps one of the most touching parts of the evening occurred when Officer Hamilton told the audience why the NHTPD decided to make Connor an honorary officer. His comments brought the crowd to its feet and elicited some strong emotions from Connor and his family.
Instead of sticking around for the rest of the Board of Commissioners meeting, the NHTPD had something A LOT more fun in mind for Connor! They invited Connor, his family, and the CCChampions crew back to the police department for a pizza party, complete with a beautiful cake that read, “Congratulations Officer Vickers.”
Not only is Connor’s mom, Marci, grateful to the NHTPD for providing such a memorable experience for Connor that night, but she is confident that this is just the beginning of the friendship between Connor and his inspirational role models and friends at the NHTPD. There were many, many AMAZING moments that evening and Connor and the NHTPD are eager to create even more in the near future!
Types of Friendships