The Gordon County Chamber of Commerce presented representatives of Gordon County’s Fire and Rescue Department Fire Prevention Division with a contribution to support its purchase of an educational robot recently.

The Chamber’s Drugs Don’t Work Task Force, chaired by Debbie Vance, Director of Gordon County E-911, identified the project in its annual program of work.

The robot will be used throughout the year and incorporated into Red Ribbon Week in October, a Chamber initiative that raises awareness in the community about drug prevention and awareness.

“The Chamber was happy to support this purchase with Drugs Don’t Work funds, because it’s a perfect match of money and mission,” said Kathy Johnson, President and CEO of the Gordon County Chamber. “Nicknamed ‘Pluggie’ and resembling a fire hydrant, the robot is a child-sized tool used to teach lessons and deliver messages about fire safety and other public safety issues in formats that young students find engaging.

“The robot moves around the room while carrying on conversations and delivering topic messages,” Johnson continued. “Children find him very entertaining because his eyes light up and blink, his cap lifts, and he sprays water. He even makes siren sounds, teaching them how to recognize the difference between a police siren and a fire truck siren, for example. He provides a fun and memorable learning experience.”

Gordon County Fire Chief Doug Ralston indicated that Gordon County Fire and Rescue will use the robot extensively in October when his staff makes their annual Fire Prevention Education presentations at the county schools, but Pluggie also will be available for presentations to civic groups, church groups or daycare centers.

“The Drugs Don’t Work Task Force knew right away that contributing toward the purchase of the robot was a good decision for young learners in Calhoun-Gordon County,” Vance said. “The money spent will reach hundreds of young people in classrooms and other settings, and each of those exposures will drive home our lessons about the importance of staying drug-free.”

Arrangements for those presentations can be made with Gordon County Fire and Rescue at 706-629-8851, with Lt. Ron Chance and Lt. Greg Hasty being the primary contacts.

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