At Dromana Fire Brigade there are always trauma teddies on the trucks ready to support a child in need – handmade by local community member Val Rowe and fellow volunteers at Seawinds Capel Sound Boomerang Bags.
More than 100 bears (and 20 dinosaurs) have been made so far, each one with a special role to play in keeping children calm when there is chaos around them.
Georgina McDonald, 3rd Lieutenant - Training and Development at Dromana Fire Brigade, said having a bear to hug can help a child focus and bring their stress levels down in times of crisis.
“The aftermath of a fire, road accident or other incident can be extremely upsetting for children, especially when they may not have anything of their own to hold on to,” Georgina said.
“When Val arrived with a bag full of bears for us, we all loved them - each one is individual with different facial expressions, ribbons and patterns.
“We get to put a smile on the face of a child. They may be scared, tired or injured and being able to gift them one of the bears gives them a little something to brighten their day.”