Aviation students present Norfolk first responders with special honors


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Students at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance decided to make sheet metal clipboards, by hand, to thank Norfolk first responders.

Scotty May was one of the students at AIM who worked on the project. He says he and his peers worked on the clipboards on their own time, separate from their school work.

He says he has family members who are first responders.

“You have to be a special kind of person to get up every day, put yourself directly in the line of fire or imminent danger,” he said.

May says the thought of them encouraged him to work on the project.

After a difficult year because of the pandemic, first responders say something as small as a clipboard means a lot.

“Everyone was so gracious for our assistance and everyone was so willing to reach out and just want to help us in any way,” said Battalion Chief Stephanie Ramsey from Norfolk Fire-Rescue. “And really, it was supposed to be us helping them.”

Members of the Norfolk police and fire departments toured the campus on Little Creek Road before attending a ceremony to celebrate them and the students, who dedicated over 200 hours to make the clipboards.

“Our first responders were there in communities still responding to the needs of our residents and our business community, ” said Mayor Kenny Alexander of Norfolk.

The idea for them came from their Las Vegas campus when a hospital asked if they could make clipboards that were easier to sanitize during the pandemic.

“It’s just a great impact, a great feeling but also a great set of skills that they’ve been able to develop and see how their skills influence others around them in a positive way,” said AIM Executive Vice President Dr. Joel English.

Students and staff say they’re grateful for the time to give back and see how their work directly impacts those in the community.

“It’s just a way of showing my appreciation for being able to be part of the community,” said May. “‘Cause if you’re living somewhere, you should be completely 100% invested in where you’re living.”

Norfolk first responders aren’t the only ones who have their hands on these clipboards.

Other campuses across the country also made similar clipboards for their local first responders in their communities.

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