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“Mommy, I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up,?said six-year-old Billy, who was dying of leukaemia.

Mom smiled back and said: “Let’s see if we can make your wish come true.?Later that day she went to her local fire department in Phoenix, Arizona, where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix. She explained her son’s final wish.

Fireman Bob said: “Look, we can do better than that. If you have your son ready at seven o’clock Wednesday morning, we’ll make him an honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us and go out on all the fire calls. We’ll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat ?not a toy one ?with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots. They’re all manufactured right here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast.?/font>

Three days later, Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his fire uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven. There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three of them. He rode in the different fire engines, the paramedic’s van and even the fire chief’s car.

He was also videotaped for the local news programme. Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, Billy was so deeply touched that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.

One night all of Billy’s vital signs began to drop dramatically. His mother called the fire chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition. The chief replied: “We can do better than that. We’ll be there in five minutes. Will you please do me a favour? When you hear the sirens and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is no fire? It’s just the fire department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room??/font>

About five minutes later, a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy’s third-floor open window. Sixteen firefighters climbed up the ladder into Billy’s room. With his mother’s permission, they hugged him and held him, and told him how much they loved him. With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief.

“God, the Head Chief, is holding your hand,?the chief said.

Billy smiled, and his smile seemed to say: “I know, He’s been holding my hand all day and the angels have been singing.?He closed his eyes one last time.

All is not lost in this world when we have people like Bob around.

Via e-mail

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