RINCON — Backup is on the way for law enforcement officers and other first responders in Effingham County.
Effingham Heroes, a soon-to-be 501(c)(3) organization, was recently created for the sole purpose of providing support to the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, Rincon Police Department, Georgia State Patrol Post 42, Guyton Police Department, Springfield Police Department, Effingham County Dispatch, Rincon Fire Department, Effingham County Fire Rescue and the Effingham Emergency Management Agency. The organization is committed to supporting first responders through fund-raising efforts to help pay for training, equipment and resources so as to maintain the highest standard of excellence in service and protection.
As part of its launch, the organization is hosting a “Back the Badge Rally.” It is set for 7 p.m. Sunday at Freedom Park.
“We encourage people to make signs about supporting our police officers and other first responders,” said Susie Davis, a driving force behind Effingham Heroes. “We’d also like them to wear blue or other patriotic colors — either blue or red.”
Spectators will be asked to gather inside a circle emergency vehicles, whose lights will be flashing.”
“I know it’s a school night, basically, so we won’t keep them very long,” Davis said. “It will be within an hour’s time. There will be a short program.
“There will be some prizes given away to our first responders.”
There will be handouts for children, Also, blue bulbs will be available for purchase.
“We encourage folks to get the bulbs and put them out on their porches in order to show support for our police officers,” Davis said.
Davis said Effingham Heroes will host periodic events for first responders.
“This is just the first of many,” she said. “Even without the events, though, there will be a continual organization that will support our first responders in the best way that we can. If there is a financial need for a police officer or a fireman, any first responder, we want to be able to help with that in some way.
“Of course, that will depend on our funding.”
Davis said one of Effingham Heroes’ current funding priorities is The Teal House, which provides emotional support and advocacy for individuals in the region who have been sexually assaulted.
Currently, Effingham County victims of sexual abuse are transported to the Teal House in Statesboro by Effingham County officers.
“We want one of those facilities in Effingham County so that it will leave our resources here but — above all — it will be less traumatic for the child because they will be able to stay in familiar surroundings,” Davis said. “The money that we are raising here will go toward that.”
Davis said Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie is looking into obtaining a local building for a center for sexual assault victims.
To learn more about Effingham Heroes, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call Davis at (912) 675-0283 or mail Effingham Heroes at P.O. Box 1622, Rincon, Ga. 31326.