Taking a moment to stop and make someone’s day isn’t hard to accomplish. But sometimes we get so focused on the busyness of things, we forget to cherish those small, precious moments.
One fireman from Manchester, New Hampshire, decided that stopping to interact with a little boy was perhaps one of the most important things he could do.
On Jan. 31, 2019, the Manchester Fire Department responded to a call at an apartment building. The fire alarms had gone off, making the situation frightening for everyone involved, especially the children.
The building had to be evacuated. Thankfully, all was well and no harm was done. The firefighters could have just as well gone about their duties during the entire scenario.
Instead, the department made it a point to turn the experience into a fun one. “They were so nice to all of the kids, giving them firemen hats and quickly getting us back inside,” Amy McCall, a resident and mom, wrote on Facebook.
And then there’s Lt. Mike Rheault — a good Samaritan if there ever was one. He noticed a boy who wasn’t saying anything, so the kind fireman stopped to communicate with the young man.
McCall is the boy’s mother and happened to catch the entire encounter on film. Watch as Lt. Rheault communicates to Tegan through speech and sign language.
McCall shared that Tegan has cerebral palsy, which makes it difficult for him to use signs. He often uses a speech device to communicate, but the boy signed right back to the compassionate lieutenant.
“Thank you Firefighter Mike for being so sweet to Tegan, and to the whole Manchester Fire Department,” McCall wrote.
“Firefighter Mike” later opened up to Liftable, a brand of The Western Journal, about this sweet moment. “You never know who has a camera pointed at you,” he shared.
— Amy McCall (@amyjomccall) February 1, 2019
“It always makes me feel very happy when I see a kid smiling after having an interaction with firemen,” Lt. Rheault said.
“I was told today that it had over 1.7 million views so I see it as we made 1.7 million people smile and feel happy. I think that’s the most amazing thing ever.”
“I had no idea mom was filming me talking with [Tegan],” he added. “It’s amazing how many people enjoyed the video…”
In the end, the kindhearted man says he’s happy that he “made another kid feel comfortable when he sees a fireman.”
Resounding fire alarms and evacuations can be scary, but we love seeing situations such as this one that remind us our wonderful first responders are people too.
We hope many other children might see this video and know what Tegan now knows — though emergencies are frightening, it’s people like “Firefighter Mike” who take some of that fright away with their kindness and selfless acts.
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