Charlottesville firefighters bond with young boy during pandemic

Charlottesville firefighters bond with young boy during pandemic
3-year-old Ethan (left) and firefighter Tyler Floyd (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville mother has been finding ways to keep two of her youngsters entertained during the pandemic, and they’ve found a little inspiration along the way.

Without much to do at the start of the pandemic, Jennifer Walker would take two of her kids, 3-year-old Ethan and 18-month-old Savannah, on a walk.

“We bring out picnic here and we would just kind of watch the world go by,” she said.

They would always come to the Charlottesville Fire Station on Ridge Street. Ethan loves the trucks, and loves when the trucks are out - or, even better, if they got called to serve.

Very few things bring a smile to Ethan’s face quite like the sounds of the sirens and the sights of his heroes going to rescue someone. But there is one thing that makes him smile even bigger: when his heroes adopted him as one of their own.

The firefighters gave Ethan and Savannah their own hats, and even answered the ever-curious Ethan’s tough questions.

“How do you drive,” Ethan asked while being propped up into the front seat of the firetruck.

While Ethan may not be as strong as the other firefighters, they know what he’s capable of.

“He loves being a firefighter and I think he has a future career,” said Tyler Floyd, a firefighter.

Even if Ethan thinks that job is coming a bit sooner than they would think.

We asked Ethan: “When you grow up, do you want to be a firefighter?”

“Yes,” Ethan responded. “But I already did grow up.”

During a time when it’s tough to connect, this was a show of kindness between strangers, turned friends, and role models.

"You really love the fire scene, the fire trucks, the fire department itself, you become part of the family,” Floyd said.

“All of us can make a huge impact if we are kind to one another and love one another,” Jennifer Walker said. "Even in simple ways of showing a child a firetruck.”

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