St. Michael School Celebrates Augusta First Responders as 'Local Heroes'

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - As part of Maine Catholic Schools Week, students at the St. Michael School in Augusta thanked some of their local heroes Friday.

Augusta police officers and firefighters were honored at a school assembly.

Students and staff donated money to buy gift cards and baskets for each of the departments.

Special 'thank you' cards handwritten by students were also presented for first responders unable to attend.

Those honored say it means a lot and events like this are a great way for them to connect with kids in a positive way.

"I'm just out here to help show them that we're not there to take them to jail necessarily, we're there to help in whatever aspect we can to help them. Sometimes we can't, and sometimes people do go to jail, but the vast majority of the time we're trying to resolve problems," said Augusta P.D.'s Community Resource Officer Brad Chase.

"One of the things we like to make sure that the children understand is that they shouldn't be afraid of us. You know, it's a stressful situation whenever they have to see police or firefighters, and the last thing we want is for them to be afraid," said Lt. Tom Freeman, Augsuta F.D.

Kids also got to ask first responders whatever they'd like during a Q&A session.