It was Keep Kids Safe Day at the Hawks Prairie Home Depot on Saturday. The event was organized by Home Depot employee Shonna Ford, who wanted to make sure children are comfortable with first responders and know how to contact them during an emergency.
Ford, who has worked at the store for about 18 months, was inspired to organize the event after an anti-bullying event at the store last month.
At that event, one child was afraid of approaching a uniformed Mason County sheriff’s deputy, she said.
“It broke my heart,” said Ford.
About 100 children and their parents attended Saturday, she said.
First responders there included the Washington State Patrol, 911 dispatchers, Crime Stoppers representatives, Lacey police and members of Lacey Fire District 3, who arrived in a fire engine. But the fire engine was called away to respond to an emergency, Ford said.
Volunteers with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office produced identification cards for children and scanned their irises, said Greg Young, a volunteer with the Sheriff’s Office Community Service Unit.
The identification cards include a photo, name, date of birth, height and weight, and contact information.
The iris images are uploaded to a national database so a child can be identified in an emergency.