Local Firefighters Extinguish Birthday Blues

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Elmsford Fire Department Chief Nelson Diaz presents a birthday gift to a lucky local kid, mindful of social distancing. Air horns and sirens were sounded as well as birthday wishes over the PA. Photo by Yvette Eannazzo of the Elmsford Fire Department.
Mia Stone being treated to the surprise of a lifetime when a fleet of firetrucks engined through her Mount Kisco street with their horns blaring, serenading the birthday girl with a symphony of song and sirens.

By Ariel Markowski

On April 16, little Mia Stone awoke to what could have been a sad sixth birthday. It occurred to her that, for the first time, she would not be able to celebrate in-person with friends. Throughout the day, she opened her home-delivered gifts, but something was inevitably missing: the excitement.

That afternoon, a sound, increasing in volume, originated from outside as she chatted with her kindergarten pals on a Zoom birthday call. Could it be fire engines? Yes. But in this case, the firetrucks were not summoned for a safety emergency. Instead, the local heroes were extinguishing the birthday blues.

“It was such a special thing,” remarked Mount Kisco resident Alyson Stone, Mia’s mother. “[It] made what would have been a pretty quiet birthday into something truly memorable.”

The Mount Kisco Fire Department initiated this new program to provide a little cheer to young children bummed on their birthdays thanks to the coronavirus quarantine.

Mount Kisco was inspired to provide the option after hearing about the Elmsford Fire Department offering the same to its residents from Examiner Publisher Adam Stone, Mia Stone’s father. Captain Jon Pucila is asking local residents to email with their location, desired date, and phone number.

“We also request at least a few days notice,” he noted.

As for Elmsford, the department’s chief noted how the program is all about delivering birthday satisfaction to children during difficult times.

“In thinking of bringing happiness to kids and families during this tough time, we’ve decided to bring joyful moments,” Elmsford Chief Nelson Diaz explained.

Debuting Sat., Apr. 11, the special treat will continue every Saturday in Elmsford through April and into May. Lucky kids will also receive a small gift from the local heroes. (Mia Stone received pink plastic fire helmets during her special delivery).

“Residents in the village and fire district that signed up will be visited by the department and we will sing happy birthday to them,” Diaz remarked. “While the COVID-19 virus restrictions are necessary, in some ways so is celebrating these kids’ birthdays during this pandemic. This small and easy gesture of visiting these kids brought a big smile to all them as well as the firefighters. It was a good time for all.”

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