|Jim Richardson post this
Couldn't resist posting
this, from a friend in Tucson.
Subject: The Littlest Firefighter
I'm warning everyone now, this will make you teary-eyed! But it is a
The Littlest Firefighter The 26-year-old mother stared down at her son
who was dying of terminal leukemia. Although her heart was filled with
sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent
she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now that was
no longer possible. The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted
her son's dreams to come true. She took her son's hand and asked,
"Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you
grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your
"Mommy, I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up."
Mom smiled back and said, "Let's see if we can make your wish come
Later that day she went to her local fire department in Phoenix,
Arizona, where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix.
She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to
give her six year old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.
Fireman Bob said, "Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have
your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an
honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire
station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine
yards! And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform
for him, with a real fire hat -- not a toy one -- with the emblem of the
Phoenix Fire Department on
it, yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots. They're all
manufactured right here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast."
Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his fire
uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and
ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer
it back to the fire station. He was in heaven. There were three fire
calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He
rode in the different fire engines, the paramedic's van, and even the
fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program.
Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was
lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy that he lived three months
longer than any doctor thought possible.
One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head
nurse, who believed in the hospice concept that no one should die alone,
began to call the family members to the hospital. Then she remembered
the day Billy had spent as a fireman, she called the Fire Chief and
asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the
hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition.
The chief replied, "We can do better than that. We'll be there in
five minutes. Will you please do me a favor? When you hear the sirens
screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA
system that there is not a fire? It's just the fire department coming to
see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the
window to his room?"
About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the
hospital, extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window and
16 firefighters climbed up the ladder into Billy' room. With his
mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much
they loved him.
With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said,
"Chief, am I really a fireman now?"
"Billy, you are," the chief said. With those words, Billy
smiled and closed his eyes one last time.
Connie Quinn replied...
This story is so very sad,
I just have one thing to add to this and that is all emergency service
personnel around the world are all the bravest, kindest and most taken
for granted people anywhere. These people risk life and limb everyday
and get very few thanks. It is beautiful to see a story that shows the
side that few people get to see. Thanks Connie