The pediatric patients at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital received a special visit from the brave men and women at the Houston Fire Department as part of their “Hanging with the Heroes” program.
“This is a great opportunity for our patients to spend time with real-life heroes,” said Jason Gander, emergency services liaison for Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. “The firefighters are always on the lookout for ways to give back to the community when they’re off-duty, and you could tell that they really enjoyed hanging out with the kids. And the kids had fun because it took their mind off their hospital stay.”
The group of 10 active and retired firefighters, led by Houston Fire Department District Chief Dennis Fisher, brought smiles to the children’s faces by playing board games, passing out crayons and fire safety coloring books, and distributing honorary firefighter helmets and badges.
But the real treat was the authentic firefighter gear they brought along. Patients took turns suiting up in a helmet, boots and fire-resistant bunker pants and coat, and posing for pictures.
“We take it for granted putting all the gear on,” Fisher said. “Some of us actually get tired of having to do it every day. But seeing someone get so much pleasure from putting the gear on just once revitalizes you. It makes you feel like a kid again.”
The event was so successful, the Houston Fire Department is planning three additional trips to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital this year.