Shortly before lunch on Tuesday, a hook and ladder truck from the Sacramento Fire Department pulled up on X Street and raised its ladder to our fourth floor. Retired firefighter Oscar Barrera coordinated with our hospital team to arrange a special visit. Dressed in full regalia, a firefighter climbed the ladder to wave through the window to a patient who has been recovering in the ICU for many weeks. The surprise was an emotional moment and a bright spot for all involved. The firefighter visit was arranged when they heard how much the young patient likes firefighters. He said the visit provided a “feel good” moment that stays with firefighters and bolsters them when they are responding to emergencies in the field.
“It’s wonderful to see we can make a difference for kids in the hospital,” shared Oscar. Niko King, Deputy Fire Chief for the Sacramento Fire Department, echoed that same sentiment.
“The pace of being a firefighter today in the City of Sacramento brings us to several emergencies a day. It isn’t very often where we can pause and connect with a person who has suffered a tragedy and is on their journey to recovery. To be able to visit for a moment, show off our fire truck and put a smile on a kid’s face creates a memory that lasts longer than the lifetime of our careers.”
The firefighters also visited kids in the play area on the second floor before jumping back on the truck and heading to their next call.