“In five years, I get to be a firefighter!”
Squeals of delight filled the Swormville Fire Department when ten of the youngest residents of Haven House came for a visit last week.
February break is a busy time of year for the shelter and staff work hard to develop memorable excursions to keep the children active while at Haven House all day long. These excursions allow Mom some time to focus on the family’s needs, along with her own self-care. When returning to school, the kids who stay at the emergency shelter can also share with their classmates about memories made while on break.
Al Weiser from the Swormville Fire Department has been a devoted supporter of Haven House’s mission for more than 16 years. The partnership began when the Fire Department agreed to collect and distribute stuffed animals during the holidays for Child & Family Services.
While at the fire department, the volunteer firefighters and their families treated Haven House’s children to candy, cookies and soda, showed off the search-and-rescue equipment, took them into the on-sight trucks and ambulances, and entertained questions during a “Q and A” session. The range of questions provided an insightful look into the minds of children, as well as some comedic relief.
“Where is the fire dog?”
“Why don’t you slide down a pole?”
“Can I honk the truck’s horn?”
One exchange between a firefighter and one of the children present was the most touching.
“I can’t decide if I want to be a police officer or a firefighter when I grow up." The volunteer firefighter responded, “Well don’t forget, firefighters get to operate cool trucks.” The young boy’s response and big grin solidified his future decision, “Cool!”