A group of area first responders are working to comfort children through traumatic situations.
For this month’s Celebrating Volunteers, we introduce you to Ryan Cottrell who is leading those efforts.
“We are out there to help anyone who needs help. We are first responders and that’s what we do,” said Ryan “Squeegee Bibmc” Cottrell, Brothers in Blue member.
That’s the motto of Ryan Cottrell and the Black Diamond Chapter of Brothers in Blue Motorcycle Club.
“We help each other out with situations that we went through.”
In 2005 the club was formed in Chicago as a way for emergency personnel to connect. It has since expanded to 7 states, including West Virginia.
“It’s great to be on the same level with everybody in the club because we are all out there doing the same thing, we are all first responders.”
The Brothers in Blue are dedicated to helping those in need. The club recently donated teddy bears to Harrison County EMS.
Freddie’s Teddies is a stuffed animal drive the chapter is conducting in memory of Jennifer L. (Freddie) Meadows, who was 34 years when she was killed in an unsolved hit and run accident in 2017 in Huntington.
“We thought lets give them to kids in traumatic situations because we are first responders. We show up to houses and on scene where a kid could really use something for comfort and that’s where the teddy bears come in.”
Thanks to Ryan Cottrell and the Brothers in Blue thousands of stuffed animals were collected and distributed to police departments, fire departments and rescue squads.
“This allows us to go a little bit further. I mean, I’ve seen the children at an event and they just need a little something extra. This gives us that extra to give to those kids. I would want someone to do the same to my children if they had that,” said Gary Rice, Brothers in Blue member.
Thanks to the Miley Legal Group‘s donation of $500, the Brothers in Blue will continue its efforts of providing comfort to children across West Virginia.