Vail Daily letter: 2 year old meets her heroes for birthday
Vail, CO, Colorado
I would like to thank fine men and women of the Edwards Fire Department. Recently, we held a second birthday party for our daughter, Reese, for which my wife, Carrie, hit upon an obvious theme: fire engines and firemen.
It was the perfect idea, in that from a very early point, our daughter has shown showed an inordinate interest in fire engines.
Plan in hand, Carrie, put out the invitations, and ordered all of the requisite hats, balloons, cake, etc. To top it all off, on a whim, she called to see if there was anyway some firemen and perhaps a fire engine could make a surprise appearance. We didn’t hold out much hope. After all, fires and heroism trump 2-year-olds’ birthday parties.
We were surprised to learn that this is a service they gladly provide. Not only will they do it for the sheer joy it gives the children, but for a more practical purpose, as well.
It stands to reason, but I had never thought of the terror a child would feel when a fire man or woman, geared up, ax in hand, storms into a burning house to save a child. These very scared children might hide, the results of which could be tragic. The hope is that by being more familiar with our firemen, the more compliant our children will be in the unlikely event they are ever in this situation.
The day of the party rolled around and right on schedule, a resplendent red fire engine pulled up, and four uniformed firemen emerged. They could not have been more kind, engaging, obliging or professional. Their patience was endless as they were asked variously to “stand here” or “hold her” or to top it all off: “Stand here, hold her and, oh yeah, can she wear your helmet?”
The cameras clicked and the kids stared pie-eyed at this impressive display. My daughter didn’t utter a word. They were superstars in every way.
They came in, shared pizza, talked to the kids, had some cake and were fully engaged. As the sun went down and with lights flashing they drove away, I looked at my daughter and knew that our firemen were, as always, heroes, no matter in how unlikely a way they achieved it that day.
So thank you to all of the men and women who on one hand save lives and property and on the other make 2-year-old girls’ birthday parties events not to be forgotten.
A word of advice if anyone else would like to do this: Make sure to alert the neighbors.
I never considered what sorts of concerns unannounced fire engines and flashing lights can create in the neighborhood! Sorry about that, neighbors. We are all OK.
Post Script: During their entire visit, they were vigilant in monitoring their radios in the event a more (much) pressing event required their attention.
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