PEORIA, Ill.–It’s not every day you get to interact with the U.S. Coast Guard. On Thursday, officers from Peoria and St. Louis dedicated their time to training adults from EP!C in what they do on a daily basis, and everyone absolutely loved it.
“I like when we have events like this so the community can come out here and see who we are and what we do. We’re just like everybody else, we just do things a little slower,” said EP!C ambassador Brett Dorrington.
Dorrington has been with EP!C for a long time and loves to see the people h calls family have a great time.
“Seeing something I don’t usually get a chance to see, and seeing how it works, it’s pretty interesting,” Dorrington said.
Captain Scott Stoermer is a Sector Commander based out of St. Louis. He says being able to teach everyone at EP!C about what he and the Coast Guard do is heartwarming.
“It’s completely enriching, it’s just a wonderful experience for us to come be a part of the community, to communicate with those in the community, educate them about the Coast Guard, and hopefully just lift their spirits,” Stoermer said.
Stoermer and his crew showcased their boat and how to properly throw a heave line, which the Coast Guard can use to throw to a boat that needs to be towed. Marine Science Technicians were able to show what oil does in water because the Coast Guard also responds to oil spills.
While this was a great learning experience, Stoermer says his favorite part was the joy from the adults at EP!C.
“Seeing people’s faces light up. As you highlighted, this is maybe the first time people have seen the Coast Guard and maybe the first time people have seen a boat, and maybe the last time. And just to leave them enriched and feeling better about their day, really touches our hearts,” Stoermer said.
Ashley Schreck is the Marketing Director at EP!C, she says this event is great for both the people at EP!C and the Coast Guard.
“This also helps the Coast Guard in dealing with people with disabilities. If they’re on a rescue, and it happens to be someone with a disability, their team might be more inclined and more capable to help that individual because they’ve had interactions with someone with a disability before,” Schreck said.
This is not the only event EP!C has with their first responders. On June 10, a group will go down to fire central and learn what the firefighters do.