Cabot and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company have partnered to bring smiles to the state’s EMTs and those they serve.

Sara Van Schaick has served an advanced EMT and dispatcher for the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service for more than two decades.

“Part of our job is not only to help the sick and injured but to comfort them in their time of need, and with children it’s often more difficult because they simply don’t understand why they’re there,” says Van Schaick.

But a simple bear hug has made things a bit easier.

“We now have these teddy bears that were given to us by the Cabot Cooperative and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company.”

In the past the Waitsfield-based ambulance service has purchased their own bears to comfort kids but not any more.

“We decided for EMS week, let’s honor these EMTs that are volunteering their time in their communities and thank them for all that they’re doing,” says Nate Formalarie, Brand Communications Manager for Cabot Creamery Cooperative.

Based on volunteer hours, Cabot and Vermont Teddy Bear have partnered to support and award EMTs Vermont’s famous furry friends.

“I recently did a transport for a four year old little girl who received a bear and it helped connect us, so that it was easier for me to care for her,” says

Cabot Creamery Cooperative says it’s small gestures like these that go a long way for those who rely 100 percent on volunteers.

“We rely on them to be available 24/7 to answer the call whenever they might come in,” says Denise Brynga, administrative assistant for the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service.

When the calls come in you can be sure Sara will be one of many volunteers who does not hesitate to respond and now with some made in Vermont friends by her side.

“It does take a special person to do it. We’re lucky here that we have about 70 volunteers but it’s something we enjoy doing,” says Van Schaick.

The Mad River Valley Ambulance Service responds to about 500 calls a year and transports about 10 children on an annual basis.