Elite Level Fire Damage Restoration in Denton, TX
Fire damage to your home is one of the most traumatizing, frightening tragedies a person can experience. This is especially true in apartment buildings and multifamily homes, where dozens if not hundreds of families are affected by fire and smoke damage. When a fire rips through an apartment building, the property damage can be catastrophic. But the damage caused by fires doesn't end once the flames have been extinguished. Victims are left wondering what happens next now that their belongings are destroyed. When will they have a roof over their again?
In these circumstances, prompt, purpose-driven fire damage restoration is key to reducing victims' financial and emotional strain.
The National Fire Protection Association states that a structure fire is reported every 65 seconds. When the fire alarm sounds, emergency responders answer the call for help with decisive action. But once the smoke clears, Atlas National Renovations' team of fire restoration experts step in to give hope to property managers, apartment tenants, and commercial property owners.
With decades of combined experience in disaster recovery, ANR understands the complexities associated with commercial and apartment building fires. We have helped the top multifamily groups in Texas recover their tenants' homes and belongings with care and compassion. If you're a property manager and you're still reeling from a fire disaster, know that we're here to help you too.
At Atlas National Renovations, our expert project managers and technicians play key roles in complicated fire restoration projects. We specialize in restoring Class A, B, and C properties like apartment complexes, high-rise buildings, multifamily buildings, mixed-use developments, large commercial properties, and more.
- Elite Level Fire Damage Restoration in Denton, TX
- Fire Damage Restoration for Apartment Buildings in Denton, TX
- Our Fire Damage Restoration Process
- Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
- Trustworthy Fire Damage Restoration for Businesses in Denton, TX
- Discover the Atlas DifferenceDiscover the Top Restoration in Denton, TX
If you're looking for a top-tier fire damage restoration company in Denton, look no further than ANR. We're the top pick when it comes to large, detailed fire restoration projects because we:
- Are a Trusted Partner in Restoration and Disaster Recovery
- Adhere to OSHA Standards and State & Federal Regulations
- Use the Latest Equipment & Remediation Techniques
- Offer Innovative Solutions to Detailed Problems
- Provide Seasoned Project Managers for Each Fire Restoration Project
- Give Clients Clear and Consistent Communication
- Work with Insurance Companies
- Have a Knowledgeable & Courteous Leadership Team
Fire Damage Restoration for Apartment Buildings in Denton, TX
Owners and managers of apartment complexes know that the safety of their tenants is a major responsibility. Unfortunately, nobody can completely control when apartment fires occur. Fires in apartments and multifamily buildings may start small, but they spread quickly, often destroying several living spaces. These frightening fires destroy prized heirlooms, important documents, and can even be fatal. However, the work is only beginning once the fire is put out and lives are saved.
In the aftermath of a disaster, figuring out the next steps is hard. During this difficult time, it's important to be prepared. As a property manager or owner, having a fire damage restoration company on your checklist of resources is crucial.
Unlike residential fires, apartment and multifamily building fires add several more layers of complexity and stress. In these situations, you deserve a restoration partner that you can trust without question, and that company is Atlas National Renovations.
With years of experience guiding our technicians and project managers, the ANS team responds quickly to your fire damage emergency. Using advanced protocols and state-of-the-art restoration equipment, we get to work quickly to repair and restore your commercial property to its pre-loss condition. While restoring your property, we always keep your tenant's care and comfort in mind.
Our fire restoration services in Denton are comprehensive and include the following:
- Rapid Mobilization and Response
- Overall Catastrophe Management
- Emergency Board-Up Services
- Debris Removal and Disposal
- Apartment Content Inventory and Cleaning
- Soot and Smoke Removal Services
- Water Extraction
- HVAC Cleaning and Decontamination
- Shoring Installment to Secure Buildings
- Interior & Exterior Renovations
Our Fire Damage Restoration Process
It's imperative to have someone with knowledge and experience on your side during a fire crisis.
When you call ANS, our fire restoration experts can help walk you through the steps you need to take once a fire occurs. This allows us to quickly gain control of the restoration project on your behalf. Once we have inspected your property, we'll provide a detailed report and scope of work for your fire damage restoration project.
ANS repairs all property damage caused by soot, smoke, and fire. Our IICRC-certified fire restoration teams construct the best plan to quickly get your building back to its pre-loss condition.
Because every property is different, each fire restoration project for apartment buildings is too. However, every fire disaster will have a similar process and will often include:
Your fire restoration process begins when you call our headquarters. Our specialist will ask you a series of questions about the fire event that occurred. That way, we can arrive on-site with the proper resources and equipment.
Fire Damage Assessment
Our fire damage restoration team will carefully inspect the entirety of your apartment complex, from building to building and room to room. We do so to determine the extent of your apartment's fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a comprehensive restoration plan.
First responders like firefighters must break windows and cut holes in roofs to slow fire growth and save lives. Once the fire is out, our team can get to work, boarding up holes and constructing temporary fencing around the property.
If there is water damage associated with your apartment fire, we'll remove most of the water immediately. From there, we use air movers and dehumidifiers to help complete the drying process.
Smoke and Soot Removal
Within minutes of a fire, walls, electronics, and other surfaces are covered in soot. Smoke and ash continue to cause damage to every inch of your apartment building. That's why ANS uses specialized equipment to remediate smoke damage and remove odors. This process is often labor-intensive and can take time, especially for large fire damage restoration needs.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Using a variety of restoration and cleaning techniques, our team will help clean restorable items and sanitize units for safety.
Getting your apartment buildings to their pre-fire conditions is our ultimate goal. Depending on the size and scope of the fire restoration job, minor repairs like painting, drywall replacement, and new carpet installation might be needed. You might also need major structural renovations like re-siding, re-roofing, new window installation, floor replacement, and more.
Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
If you're a property manager or own multifamily residential buildings, the thought of an apartment fire is terrifying. What starts as a small fire can quickly turn into a catastrophic event, with your entire complex up in flames. However, one of the best ways of preventing these fires is to know more about them.
Share these tips with tenants to help prevent deadly apartment fires:
Turn Off Heat Sources
Data shows that a large number of apartment fires begin with cooking. Often, these fires are caused by the ignition of common items like rags, curtains, wallpapers, and bags. Encourage tenants to keep their kitchens and cooking areas clear of combustibles. Never leave a stove unattended for long, and don't leave burners on by themselves. Unintentional mishaps like leaving heat sources on are common causes of fires that can be prevented with a little forethought.
Like heat sources, electrical malfunctions are also common causes of fires in apartment complexes. It's hard to prevent all electrical malfunctions, but you can tell tenants to avoid bad habits. Tips include never using extension cords as permanent solutions and never using a cable if the third prong is missing.
Appliances are a part of everyone's lives. They're also standard equipment in most apartment units. But if tenants don't take proper precautions, these useful tools can spark deadly fires.
Tips for Preventing Apartment Fires
No matter how large or small, fires are nightmare scenarios for entrepreneurs with commercial properties. Fire damage can completely ruin storefronts and offices, leaving charred remains and burned-up files before firefighters arrive. To make matters worse, soot and smoke damage ruin your businesses' furniture, HVAC system, carpet, walls, and windows.
To eliminate health hazards and restore your business to its pre-fire condition, you need to bring in a team of professionals with years of experience in fire damage remediation. At ANR, we use commercial-grade equipment and cutting-edge tools to clean up the aftermath of your fire and rebuild your property. That way, you can get back to running your business and providing for your family.
Share these tips with tenants to help prevent deadly apartment fires:
Remove Smoke and Fire Damage
One of the most common causes of large commercial loss stems from smoke and fire damage. Of course, these disasters cause injuries and fatalities. But they also generate tremendous amounts of damage, rot, mold, and harm to structures. Not to mention the devastation that fire damage has to the appearance and livability of the facility. Fire damage restoration companies restore - and also prevent - the root cause of the fire. Electrical outlets, wires, and other fire-prone items will all be addressed to prevent a subsequent disaster.
The best fire damage restoration professionals are highly-trained, exceptionally skilled, and properly equipped to deal with every aspect of a commercial fire. From handling major renovations to taking care of the lingering effects of smoke damage, pro fire restoration companies take care of it for you. Hiring ANR means you'll be working with technicians who have the knowledge, tools, and materials to get the job done right the first time.
When you start the claim process with your businesses' insurance company, they'll ask whether you've hired a fire damage restoration company. That's because companies like Atlas prevent further damage from occurring and calculate an estimate of your total loss. You can submit this estimate to your insurance company, which may then provide you with resources to complete your company's disaster recovery mt-md-1
Fire damage restoration is a crucial, complex process that professionals must perform. With decades of expertise, unmatched restoration quality, and the scalability for any job, Atlas National Renovations is well-equipped to be your single source for commercial fire damage restoration in Denton, TX. We are specially equipped to make difficult restoration projects easy for owners.
When a fire disaster strikes, you need a timely response from a trustworthy team of experts. Don't settle for a mediocre fire restoration partner. Choose ANR to get the job done right the first time. Contact our office today to learn more about our fire restoration services in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.214-814-4300
Latest News in Denton, TX
North Texas lands spot in NIT, will face Alcorn State after being passed over for NCAA bid
North Texas didn’t earn the NCAA tournament bid it was hoping for when the field was announced on Sunday evening.The Mean Green did receive a nice consolation prize, though, in the form of a spot in the National Invitation Tournament.The field for the NIT was announced Sunday night after the pairings for the NCAA tournament. UNT will host Alcorn State at 7 p.m. Wednesday. UNT is a No. 2 seed in the 32-team event.“I love the competitiveness of this group and am glad this is not our last game,” UNT coach ...
North Texas didn’t earn the NCAA tournament bid it was hoping for when the field was announced on Sunday evening.
The Mean Green did receive a nice consolation prize, though, in the form of a spot in the National Invitation Tournament.
The field for the NIT was announced Sunday night after the pairings for the NCAA tournament. UNT will host Alcorn State at 7 p.m. Wednesday. UNT is a No. 2 seed in the 32-team event.
“I love the competitiveness of this group and am glad this is not our last game,” UNT coach Grant McCasland said after the Mean Green fell to UAB in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament. “They have earned an opportunity to keep playing.”
This will be the Mean Green’s second straight appearance in the NIT. UNT played a pair of thrillers in the event last year at the Super Pit.
The Mean Green beat Texas State in overtime before falling to traditional power Virginia in another overtime game.
UNT will look to begin another postseason run when it takes on Alcorn, one of the top teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Braves won their second straight SWAC regular season title and were the top seed in the conference tournament.
Alcorn was upset in the first round by Texas Southern. Former UNT coach Johnny Jones and the Tigers went on to win the SWAC tournament and earn their third straight NCAA tournament berth.
Alcorn is 18-13 on the season and beat Wichita State and Stephen F. Austin early in the season.
Playing in the NIT is another milestone for UNT under McCasland, but it wasn’t what the Mean Green were hoping for in terms of their postseason destination.
UNT built an impressive resume over the course of the year was considered a contender for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament at times late in the season.
The Mean Green are 26-7 after breaking the program record for wins in a season — 25, set last year. UNT is also sitting at No. 38 in the NCAA’s NET rankings that are used to measure a team’s performance.
The Mean Green were the top ranked team in the NET rankings to not earn an NCAA tournament berth.
The path for teams outside the power conferences in college basketball to earn an at-large NCAA bid is a narrow one. UNT needed to be nearly perfect to have a chance and stumbled a few too many times to reach that goal.
UNT lost to Rice at home and also fell at Charlotte late in the regular season. Those setbacks left the Mean Green knowing they likely needed to win the C-USA tournament to return to the NCAA tournament.
UNT beat Louisiana Tech in the C-USA quarterfinals before its comeback bid against UAB in the semifinals came up short.
The Mean Green fell behind 22-2 against the Blazers before closing to within two in the closing seconds. UAB closed out a 76-69 win at the free-throw line.
Florida Atlantic beat the Blazers in C-USA title game to earn the league’s automatic NCAA berth.
UNT has been a postseason regular under McCasland. The Mean Green played in the NCAA tournament in 2021 and won the College Basketball Invitational in 2018 in addition to playing in the NIT last season.
“This one really hurt,” UNT forward Aaron Scott said after UNT’s loss to the Blazers. “We wanted to go to the NCAA tournament. We have to turn our attention to the NIT.”
Denton ISD schedules makeup days from the freeze, but some parents are hot over the dates
This story was updated on Feb. 28.Denton ISD announced it will use two of its scheduled makeup days to make up for time lost in the freeze that closed campuses two weeks ago, leaving some heated about the decision.The district also announced it would extend three scheduled half-days to full days. Administrators will discuss the impact the freeze had on class times during the school board meeting on Tuesday evening.Officials said the district had decided to use Feb. 20 — Presidents Day, whi...
This story was updated on Feb. 28.
Denton ISD announced it will use two of its scheduled makeup days to make up for time lost in the freeze that closed campuses two weeks ago, leaving some heated about the decision.
The district also announced it would extend three scheduled half-days to full days. Administrators will discuss the impact the freeze had on class times during the school board meeting on Tuesday evening.
Officials said the district had decided to use Feb. 20 — Presidents Day, which was previously a school holiday — and Friday, April 7, as weather makeup days. Half-days originally scheduled for March 22, April 19 and May 19 are now extended to full days.
The makeup days allow the district to address lost instructional time on both A and B schedules, which structure high school classes in 90-minute periods on some days and 60-minute blocks on the others.
The news irritated some families in the district, some of whom criticized the district for choosing the first of the makeup days so soon, when many families and teachers had planned to travel.
“We know this inconveniences our families in the district, and we hate that inconvenience. But this is about making up that instructional time, which, honestly, is the right thing to do,” said Julie Zwahr, Denton ISD’s communications chief. “This option prevents us from making up days during spring break or extending the year after Memorial Day in May. While we know the changes may present an inconvenience for some families, we wanted them to have as much notice as possible.”
Zwahr said the district made changes to the calendar to keep students from being in a deficit in instructional time. The state requires Texas public school students to complete 75,600 minutes of instructional time. Zwahr said Denton administrators are working with state officials to make sure they resolve the hours of lost class time.
“We have been working within the Texas Education Agency guidelines regarding the number of missed instructional days, and we continue to reach out to them for guidance,” she said. “Our priority is making up the time and addressing the loss of learning. When it comes to instructional time, we want to catch our students up quickly and address the continuity of learning.”
In terms of instructional time, the calendar changes add up to three and a half makeup days.
Denton ISD closed campuses halfway through the day on Monday, Jan. 30, when sleet blanketed the area. Schools ended up staying closed through Friday, Feb. 3.
“They missed four and a half days,” Zwahr said.
Ashley Gawron has a child attending a Denton ISD campus and is an elementary school teacher in the district’s booming U.S. Highway 380 corridor. She said she had planned to spend the Feb. 20 holiday celebrating her wedding anniversary with her husband. They had already booked their travel and accommodations.
“As soon as the schedule got released, I panicked, you know?” Gawron said. “I went online and I got a sub, but I have to use one of my personal days for that. This is my sixth year of teaching, and all six years he and I have gone away for this weekend. And all six years it’s been just a paid holiday.”
Gawron said the district has had more difficulty finding substitute teachers recently, and she worries that her trip might give the other teachers on her team more work.
“I’ve actually been at this school for eight years, first as a staff member, then as a paraprofessional, and now I’ve been in the classroom for six years,” she said. “This is hands down the worst year of my career when it comes to getting coverage for classes and substitutes. There’s an incredible shortage of subs.”
If no substitute teacher is available, Gawron said the class has to be divided up and placed with other teachers. So that teacher has six or seven more students on top of their class of about 20 students.
“That’s a lot for the teachers on your team,” she said. “It’s really hard.”
Denton ISD has scheduled inclement weather days in March or April for several years.
“Some years we’ve had to use the days and other times we have not,” Zwahr said. “Unfortunately, this year, by missing four and a half consecutive days, we will have to use it.”
On the district’s announcement posted on Facebook, some commenters asked why the district hadn’t applied for waivers to eliminate some of the makeup days. Others noticed that nearby districts had arranged their calendars so that the freeze didn’t require any makeup days.
“It’s my understanding that in order to apply for the waiver, districts must use two inclement weather makeup days,” Zwahr said. “Again, we are in contact with TEA seeking guidance.”
Men's Hoops Earns NIT Berth
University of North Texas Athleticshttps://meangreensports.com/news/2023/3/12/mens-basketball-mens-hoops-earns-nit-berth.aspx
DENTON – The UNT men's basketball team on Sunday earned a No. 2 seed for the 2023 National Invitation Tournament. The Mean Green, who have won a program-record 26 games this season, will host Alcorn State at The Super Pit on Wednesday in the first round.North Texas (26-7) and Alcorn State (18-13) are scheduled to tipoff in Denton at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, the Mean Green Sports Network presented by Learfield and The Varsity Network.This is the second consecutive year the Mean Green have accepted a ...
DENTON – The UNT men's basketball team on Sunday earned a No. 2 seed for the 2023 National Invitation Tournament. The Mean Green, who have won a program-record 26 games this season, will host Alcorn State at The Super Pit on Wednesday in the first round.
North Texas (26-7) and Alcorn State (18-13) are scheduled to tipoff in Denton at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+, the Mean Green Sports Network presented by Learfield and The Varsity Network.
This is the second consecutive year the Mean Green have accepted a bid to the NIT. Prior to this two-year run UNT had never been to the NIT. Last season North Texas defeated then Sun Belt regular season champion Texas State in the first round, 67-63 (OT) to advance to the second round where they hosted recent national champion Virginia and narrowly fell 71-69 (OT).
If UNT defeats Alcorn State on Wednesday they will face the winner of Sam Houston and Santa Clara in the second round of the NIT. Home games in subsequent rounds exist dependent on results of other games and facility availability.
All 2022-23 North Texas men's basketball season ticket holders will have the option to purchase their same seats by logging in here. Tickets for the general public are available for purchase now by clicking here. Tickets start at $15 for upper general admission seating and lower bowl seating will be only $20. Current UNT students will receive free admission thanks to the UNT Division of Student Affairs, Department of Athletics, and through the generosity of several donors. For those Mean Green fans who would like to help send current UNT students to the NIT please click here. The NIT is a five-round national tournament that features some of the county's best teams and biggest brands. The semifinals and finals of this year's NIT will be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas March 28-30th.
North Texas has now reached three straight national postseason tournaments for a first time in program history and have made it for a fourth time in head coach Grant McCasland's six seasons in Denton. There were no national postseasons in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to a single-season program record 26 wins, the Mean Green won a program record 25 regular season games this year and tied the program record for league wins with 16. This is the second consecutive year North Texas has set the program record for wins and league wins. Senior Tylor Perry was named the Conference USA Player of the Year after this season and Kai Huntsberry (newcomer of the year), Abou Ousmane (third team all-conference) and Rubin Jones (all-defensive team) also earned all-conference honors this season.
For those Mean Green fans who want to help send current UNT students to the NIT please click here.
For more information on tickets, contact the Mean Green Ticket Office at 940-565-2527 or at email@example.com. Fan can visit the UNT Athletics Ticket Office located at Gate 2 of Apogee Stadium between 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Grant McCasland vows to focus on UNT's future as speculation on opening at Texas Tech heats up
North Texas basketball coach Grant McCasland vowed to remain focused the remainder of UNT’s season on Friday night after the Mean Green fell to UAB 76-69 in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament.McCasland’s name has come up in connection with the opening at Texas Tech in the last few days after Mark A...
North Texas basketball coach Grant McCasland vowed to remain focused the remainder of UNT’s season on Friday night after the Mean Green fell to UAB 76-69 in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament.
McCasland’s name has come up in connection with the opening at Texas Tech in the last few days after Mark Adams stepped down.
McCasland was a member of Texas Tech’s staff early in his career and has gone on to build a consistently successful program at UNT. The Mean Green had won a C-USA title in three straight seasons before that streak was snapped this year. UNT still won a program-record 26 games and is expected to receive a bid to the National Invitation Tournament for the second straight season. McCasland is 150-77 in seven seasons as a Division I coach, including a 130-65 mark at UNT.
“I love this team and what we have been able to do as a program,” McCasland said. “Our attention is 100% on winning. Last year, we won a game in the NIT.
“Our focus is on how we keep this group together. How do we learn from this?”
McCasland got his start in coaching at Texas Tech as the program’s director of operations from 1999-2001. McCasland’s wife, Cece, played soccer for the Red Raiders.
The road to being a Division I head coach was a slow climb for the former walk-on guard at Baylor.
McCasland left Texas Tech to become an assistant coach at Northeastern Junior College, where he also served as a resident assistant in the school’s dorms. He eventually returned to West Texas and served as the head coach at Midland College from 2004-09.
McCasland has Big 12 experience from his time as an assistant coach at Baylor from 2011-16. He was the head coach at Arkansas State in 2016-17 for a year before taking over at UNT.
McCasland’s name coming up in coaching searches in nothing new. LSU and SMU both considered McCasland when they were in the market for a new coach last season.
Texas Tech is still early in the process of finding Adams’ replacement. The school will use a four-person search committee and has hired the TurnkeyZRG executive search firm to help find its next coach, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
McCasland vowed to focus on UNT’s next step as Texas Tech’s search begins.
“Unfortunately, in life things don’t always go well, but you can be there for each other,” McCasland said. “That is what I encouraged these guys to do, be there for each other.
“I hope to have a chance to go win a championship. There is nothing like it. This group has earned the right to keep doing that. That is where our focus is.”
Final: UAB 76, North Texas 69
Where UNT stands: UNT fell in the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament for the second straight year and will now await its postseason fate. The Mean Green are expected to land a berth in the NIT just like they did in 2022. UNT is 26-7 on the season and has already set the program record for wins in a year.
Now what?: UNT will have to wait until after the NCAA tournament field is announced to see where it lands in the postseason
Star of the night: Aaron Scott continued to come on late in the season. The sophomore finished with a double-double that included 13 points and 13 rebounds. He scored a career-high 19 points in UNT’s win over Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals.
“I was proud of our guys for fighting. The competitiveness we showed was tremendous. We made a few mental errors trying to come back.
-- Grant McCasland, UNT coach on the Mean Green’s loss to UAB
Our take: UNT fell a game short of the C-USA title game for the second straight year.
The Mean Green nearly pulled off a miracle comeback from a 20-point first-half deficit when they came up with a couple of steals in the closing seconds.
UNT wasn’t able to come up with the plays it needed. Kai Huntsberry had a good look at a 3 with the Mean Green trailing by four with 23 seconds left that didn’t go down.
The tough part of it all for UNT is that it painted itself into a corner by falling behind 22-2 in the early going.
The Mean Green pride themselves on their defense. UNT is great on that end of the floor.
The Mean Green’s problem, and this seems like nitpicking considering the success they’ve had for years now, is they can’t put the ball in the hole for long stretches at key times. UNT lost a close game to Louisiana Tech in the semifinals of last season’s C-USA tournament when it had the same issue. UNT lost that game 42-36.
The Mean Green will now turn their attention to the NIT and then a host of offseason decisions. Tylor Perry has another season of eligibility and said he’d decide what to do after the season.
McCasland has done a terrific job at UNT and has seen his name come up in connection with a host of jobs, including Texas Tech, where he was once on the staff.
Falling in the C-USA semifinals is not going to help McCasland’s resume, but he’s accomplished more than enough to remain on the radar for schools in the market for a new coach. He’s won at UNT. There will be programs with a whole lot more at their disposal that will wonder what he could do with what they have.
It’s going to be an interesting few weeks for the Mean Green, and not just because they’re likely to play in the NIT.
200 handmade octopus plushes comfort premature infants at Texas Health Denton
The Yarn Divas, a group of knitters and crocheters from Robson Ranch, have donated a cute batch of 200 octopuses to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton’s ill and premature infants.Infants go into the neonatal intensive care unit if they are born a significant amount of time before their due dates, have health problems or other birth issues. The infants get around-the-clock care from a team of expert health care providers.Faith Gallo, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton manager of the neonatal intensive car...
The Yarn Divas, a group of knitters and crocheters from Robson Ranch, have donated a cute batch of 200 octopuses to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton’s ill and premature infants.
Infants go into the neonatal intensive care unit if they are born a significant amount of time before their due dates, have health problems or other birth issues. The infants get around-the-clock care from a team of expert health care providers.
Faith Gallo, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton manager of the neonatal intensive care unit, said the donation had been well received by the staff and the families.
“They can take it home as a [memory], as well as when their kids get older to show them that they had this at the hospital and the volunteers did this to help them grow,” Gallo said.
Texas Health Denton houses the only Level III designated neonatal intensive care unit in Denton, offering advanced neonatal care to the tiniest patients.
Inspired by the Octo Project, the Yarn Divas got to work. The Octo Project started in Denmark in 2013 as a group of volunteers used premium cotton to crochet colorful octos for premature babies. The tentacles of an octopus resemble the umbilical cord and remind the babies of their time in the womb.
The Yarn Divas members are known to knit or crochet items to donate to various charities. Member Debbie Schettek said Pamela Milam, manager of volunteer services at Texas Health Denton, approached the members to make the octopuses for infants.
Schettek said it takes about an hour or two to crochet one of the octopuses. It involves team effort as members who don’t crochet get involved by doing needlework on the plushes’ faces and bodies.
“We personalize them [octopuses],” Schettek said. “Some may have bows, and some may have hats, bow ties, they all have faces. Depending on the complexity of the personalization — it takes us an hour and a half to two hours per item.”
Gallo said for safety purposes, the octopuses are approved by the infection control department before wrapping around an infact. Each plush is individually packaged without cross contamination to maintain infection control.
Once approved, staff start to put the octopuses in every NICU room once the gender of an infant is revealed.
Gallo said they explain to parents why octopus plushes are allowed in the room, while other stuffed animals are not. Gallo said families appreciate the plushes provided by the Yarn Divas.
“To allow for comfort and growth … but then we also teach them [families] not to put any other stuffed animals in the bed to prevent [sudden infant death syndrome] and promote safe sleep.”
Gallo said the collaboration between the hospital and the Yarn Divas has made it special to comfort families. The staff appreciate the relationship they have with the Yarn Divas.
“We’re grandmothers and mothers and we have at times dealt with kids that have not been as healthy as we would like,” Schettek said. “So, we just enjoy giving back and hope we can make a difference.”