Each and every work day, I hear from Los Angeles residents about the special "little things" that the men and women of our Department do to help our neighbors in need.
Clearly, going the extra mile to make the "magic" happen is not in the rule books, nor is it limited to members of our agency. It is therefore with great pleasure that I share a special story from our friends at The Associated Press, and offer a respectful tip o' the LAFD helmet to our colleagues at the "LFD"...
Firefighters Help Send Greeting To Boy's Dead Mom
Friday, February 17, 2006
LINCOLN, Neb. - Firefighters braved sleet, wind and freezing cold to rescue a valentine that got snagged in a tree after a boy sent it into the sky by balloon for his mother, who died of cancer last fall.
Seven-year-old Joel Enriquez had made the valentine -- a pink heart with purple heart stickers and the message "I miss you" -- for Maria Enriquez at a grief support group.
On Tuesday, the first-grader brought the valentine to his school, attached it to balloons and went outside with his 13-year-old brother and classmates to release the balloons. But as the balloons sailed up, the curly ribbon got tangled on tree branches.
Mary Rowan, the boy's English-language teacher, later told firefighters what had happened, and on Thursday, despite the cold and 20-mph wind, an aerial truck crew pulled into the playground.
Capt. Arnold Jensen climbed 40 feet climb up an extended ladder and, after a couple of attempts, grabbed the deflated balloons, cut the ribbons and brought down the valentine.
Another firefighter pulled three red balloons from the truck, helped Joel attach the valentine, and the boy released the balloons. This time, they disappeared into the clouds.
"I think she got your valentine," Rowan said, and Joel smiled.
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department