Airport rescue crew rallies to help Chase
HE may not have received his assistance dog yet, but four-year-old Chase Standley had a big smile when he got to sit in a fire truck.
Chase has autistic spectrum disorder and was recently diagnosed with an intellectual disability.
His family and the community are fundraising to buy him an all-access assistance dog.
When the Gladstone Airport Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting team read The Observer's story on Chase, it jumped in to lend a hand.
"The firies contacted me from the story in The Observer. They emailed me and said they would really like to get behind Chase," mum Tamara Standley said.
A new ARFF truck was on display at the PCYC markets yesterday, open for the public to look inside and make a donation to Charity 4 Chase.
Chase sat in the driver's seat, pretending he was steering the 9000L vehicle.
"He loves fire trucks and trains," Mrs Standley said.
"We had a private tour of the fire station and they turned the water on for Chase," she said.
ARFF inspector Greg Hunt said the market fundraiser not only helped Chase.
"We've been established since August. We brought 20 families to the area from as far as Broome, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide," Mr Hunt said.
"The team saw an opportunity where they might be able to assist in fundraising and getting out into the community," he said.
Mrs Standley said support for her son had grown immensely.
"Tiny's Woodfired Pizza have been helping a lot. I was talking to him the other day and he said you wouldn't believe how many notes are in the collection tin," she said.
"About seven businesses have tins out. People are very generous.
"Lots of local people with autistic children have been inboxing me on Facebook saying they applaud what we are doing."
Mrs Standley estimated more than $3000 had been raised with the market fundraiser collecting $765.