Early this morning we packed into the car for a 30 minute drive south to Clayton Country Fire Station 4, just south of Hartsfield Jackson airport. What a beautiful day for a drive: 65 degrees, zero humidity and not a cloud in the sky. Good weather always feels better on a Saturday.
Advanced Bionics was hosting an event to meet Kelli Duncan, a Cochlear Implant recipient who works at the fire station and graduated at the top of her class. It was also a great opportunity to meet other parents with CI children and to see the new Naida Cochlear Implant.
Kelli was truly inspiring, a very capable and respected member of the force. Her parents and sister were also in attendance, and you could see nothing but pride in their eyes. Truly inspiring and you couldn’t help but get caught up in the emotion.
And of course fire stations are like candy crack to kids. They couldn’t enough of it. Fire trucks, coloring books, fire hats, hot dogs, sunny weather, more fire trucks. Kid heaven.
Fiona was by far the youngest there, so much of this was lost on her. Still, she was a crowd favorite and we did our part to embarrass her properly.
Of course the little boy in me couldn’t resist some of the fun. In this short video one of the fire fighters demonstrated how fast they get dressed when the alarm sounds. (look for Kelli as the firefighter on the right side in the foreground).
Eliza and I really enjoyed talking with the other parents and children with Cochlear Implants. Many of the children already had an implant and were doing fantastic in such a noisy environment. This was by far the largest concentration of implant wearers we had ever seen in one place.
The tone around the room was optimism and excitement. CI’s are really a game changing invention, and you could hear nothing but pride and excitement about the possibilities this device has made for everyone in the room. We made several new friends, and shared contact info with many that we hope to keep in touch with.
Of course, being part owner of a small technology startup, the business man in me also had to marvel at the flawless marketing prowess of Advanced Bionics in hosting this event. Provide real value to the parents, make it a fun time for the children, give out cool freebies with the AB logo, and showcase off your new technology to anyone interested. Well played Advanced Bionics!
Of course I ate it all up, and was glad to have a chance to check out the new processor. There was definite excitement in the room for the new technology: the new processor is smaller then anything on the market, and more powerful (more clarity, more features, better quality, etc.). AB has invested a lot of R&D integrating the new CI to the digital world: BlueTooth, FM receivers, seamless integration with cell phones, you name it. This is a completely different level of excitement then waiting for the next iPhone or xBox version, these advances are real game changers to the hearing loss community. Great stuff.
All in all it was a fun event. We learned something, met new friends, and enjoyed a few laughs. Not a bad way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning.
Now if only Fiona would wake up…