Helping Our Heroes Hear

January 17, 2018

If you could give an invaluable gift to someone who puts their life on the line for you every day, what would it be?

The Audiology Department at Kansas University Medical Center (KUMED) took some time to research the needs of local law enforcement officers in their community. The department soon realized that the special gift they could provide was enhanced communication through customized radio ear molds.

For police officers, being able to hear new information from dispatchers while in the field is imperative to the safety of others as well as their own.

Although non-custom ear pieces are typically less expensive, according to many officers they can break easily, fall out or are uncomfortable.

With the help of Sertoma’s community grant last year, the audiology department was able to plan a specialized two-day event, which provided 120 officers with free hearing screenings and customized radio ear pieces.

The event took place May 16-17 and each officer was able to customize the color and materials of their new devices. In addition, officers were given information targeted toward the risk of noise-induced hearing loss in their field.

Lynsey Ralston, a graduate teaching assistant at KUMED, was instrumental in planning the event, and said it could not have gone better. Her husband, who is an officer, was fitted and shocked by how comfortable the ear pieces were. He was also impressed with the device’s ability to use localization cues so he could hear clearly in both ears.

After the fittings, a survey was distributed to collect data and information from other officers in regard to their experience. Many of the officer’s responded positively, and believed the custom earpieces did improve their quality of life at work.

Although a date has not been set for next year, the audiology department does intend to hold another event to help law enforcement officers. This incredible event would not have been possible without the help of Sertoma and its generous donors.

“To the donors who made this event possible, thank you for caring about this special group of men and women in Kansas City,” Lynsey concluded. “The officers who came to this event were incredibly grateful that we all cared about their well-being. I am truly thankful for your support as the officers in the Kansas City community hold a dear place in my heart too.”

Your donations to Sertoma’s Annual Fund make incredible stories and events like these possible every day. Will you make a gift today to help us help even more officers and hearing health entities around the country?


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