By Michelle Key

Local EMT’s, firefighters and police officers were honored Saturday at the “Hamburgers for Heroes” event sponsored by the Autism Society of Alabama – Lee County chapter. The event brings together families that have children and young adults with disabilities and first responders for an afternoon of fun, food and music.
This year’s event was held at the Municipal Park and attendees were treated to live music from local rising star Dallas Dorsey.
The children had opportunities to explore an Opelika Fire Department firetruck as well as time to interact with personnel. Events like these are important for the special-needs community as it helps to build trust between children with disabilities and those seen as authority figures.
Children with special-needs are more likely to panic and run from police or firemen during emergency situations.
Getting to know these men and women in a fun atmosphere can help children understand that they can trust these groups during emergencies.