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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Stopping By Your Local Fire Station

Sometimes it's the simple things that make this job great. One of my favorite things to do is wash the fire engine. I love having a sparkling shiny rig. The other day, while washing our engine, a grandpa and grandson walked up. The grandson is ten years old and has Savant syndrome. He quickly came over to us and started rattling off questions almost faster than we could answer them. While Grandpa stopped and talked to my captain, my engineer and I showed the boy our engine. He climbed into each seat and tried all of our headsets on. He pretended to be the captain ordering up additional resources for an apartment fire. I let him wear my turnout jacket which fit like a tent. In short, the kid was in heaven. After having thoroughly inspected our equipment (and us) he told his grandpa that he was ready to go. As he was leaving he asked if he could come back and visit some other time. We told him that we are always here.

Later on, talking with my captain, I found out that this young boy was an introvert in social situations. Whenever he is in a public setting, like school, he will sit by himself, silently, off to one side. Hard to believe. The boy's grandfather said that he trust us (because we're fireman) just as much as he trusts his own family. That was the only reason he was willing to come see and talk to us.

About 15 minutes later as we were drying off the engine a mother and her 8 year old daughter rode up to the front of the station on their bicycles. The mom encouraged her daughter to ask her question. I quickly knelt down in my turnout pants to get down on her level. She asked in a very quiet voice if we had a black and white spotted dog. I had to explain to her that we didn't have a dog at this fire station. Her reaction was great. She asked why not in a way as if to say, "Why wouldn't you have a Dalmatian? That's just silly"
http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/7000000/Dalmation-Wallpaper-dogs-7014061-1024-768.jpg
After trying to explain why we wouldn't have a dog at the station the mom asked if there was someone working on Christmas day. I guess it's just something that most people don't even think about. The fact that there are always firefighters waiting to come help you, even on holidays. She was surprised that there would be a crew on duty that day and decided that she was going to bake them something to say thank you. Hopefully it's good. This year, I get Christmas off.

2 comments:

Rach said...

I worked in international EMS and I loved it when we would get a couple kids come and visit us on a quiet afternoon. One time a blind boy (with severe developmental delays), accompanied by his brother, came to say hello. The paramedic on duty took 45 minutes and patiently walked him around our station and then sat with him in the ambulance, passing him gear to feel.

You couldn't ask for better community outreach.

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

So true. I don't think we have enough visitors to our fire stations.

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