In a heartwarming act of generosity, New Bedford firefighter Anthony Poente recently went above and beyond to make a positive impact on the local community.

Poente's thoughtful gesture begins with a local school catering to children with autism and a transportation company dedicated to their safe travel.

The encounter took place at a specialized ABA (Autism Behavioral Analysis) school called The Stepping Stones Group, located at 500 Kings Highway. The school, known for its exceptional services, became the backdrop for Anthony's act of kindness. He presented the school with 60 seat belt straps specially designed for children with autism.

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These straps serve as a crucial identification tool, indicating that the child may be non-verbal, providing essential information in case of an emergency or accident.

Courtesy Katrina Heredia
Courtesy Katrina Heredia

Poente's dedication to community safety didn't stop there.

He also extended his generosity to a transportation company responsible for shuttling the Stepping Stone students to and from the school. The seat belt straps are now available for use in their vehicles, ensuring the safety of children during transit, as he installed them upon arrival.

While visiting, Poente took the opportunity to educate about the New Bedford Fire Department's commitment to child safety. He revealed that a majority of the city's firefighters have undergone training on properly installing car seats, assuring parents the they can approach any fire station for assistance in installing their child's car seat correctly.

Unfortunately, there's a misconception many parents have regarding the proper installation of car seats. He expressed that there is a distinct and safer method to install these seats, a fact that often goes unnoticed by parents. Poente's dedication to spreading awareness about this issue highlights the New Bedford Fire Department's commitment to ensuring the safety of the community's children.

Parents of children attending the ABA school can now benefit from Poente's donation, as the school plans to distribute the seat belt straps to those who do not utilize the provided transportation services. Families will be able to use the straps in their personal vehicles, adding an addition layer of safety for their children.

At the end of the day, Poente's selfless act not only provided a valuable resource for safety but also shed light on the New Bedford Fire Department's dedication to community education. The ripple effect of this kind gesture ensures that children with autism in the local community can now travel with an additional layer of security, thanks to the caring efforts of the New Bedford Fire Department.

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