The Morris Fire Department is spreading a little cheer with a birthday visit featuring their fire trucks.
The department put the offer to host a mini-parade of fire trucks for any Morris child celebrating a birthday, on their Facebook page on Saturday.
Bailey Lange was the first to take up the offer, welcoming the fire trucks to her street to help celebrate the fourth birthday of her son Naeco, and she said the reaction was tremendous.
"He was thrilled," she said. "We videotaped the parade and the reaction separately so you can see him just light up and yell ‘fire truck’."
She said they simply told him a "surprise" was coming.
Lange said she appreciates that local volunteers would come together to make birthdays special at a time like this.
"I am very grateful for that," she said.
Fire Chief Wes Zilkie said the idea was greeted with enthusiasm.
"We thought because of the isolation it would be a great opportunity to try to bring a smile to a child’s face again," he said.
Zilkie said they roll up with lights flashing, sirens wailing and air horns sounding.
"The kids are floored," he said. "They jump up and down and wave because they’re super excited."
After posting their offer on Saturday, they had close to 40,000 views by Monday, and Zilkie said people are asking their own local fire departments if they’ll do something similar.
Zilkie said they often see people at very stressful times, and doing this is positive for both firefighters and the families celebrating a birthday.
"I think it’s good for the community," he said.
Deputy Fire Chief Trevor Thiessen agreed. "I think it’s incredible," he said of the experience. "It put a big smile on my face, I can tell you that."
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