Mehlville – A nine-year-old boy with muscular dystrophy had the dream of every youngster come true recently when he and his siblings were treated to a day of learning what it’s like to be a real fire fighter, courtesy of Fire Fighters Local 2665 members at the Mehlville Fire Department.
The genesis of the treat began at the Lake of the Ozarks where fire fighters from the four states in the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) 2nd District (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas), hosted by District IAFF Vice President Mark Woolbright, met to plan their annual fund drive for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), a drive that in St. Louis County (through Local 2665) and City (through Local 73) collects about a quarter of a million dollars annually for MDA.
At the Lake Ozark meeting was 9-year-old Parker Strobeck, who was a former poster child/goodwill ambassador for the 2nd District’s efforts. When Local 2665’s 7th District Vice President Nick Fahs, a member of the Mehlville Fire Department, learned that Parker’s dad was in the military in Afghanistan and that Parker had never been in a firehouse, well, that was all Fahs needed to hear.
The Strobecks live in a small town in Arkansas with no professional fire department.
On (need date) Parker, his brother Mason, ?, and sister Abby,?, accompanied by their mom Kerri, were the guests of the Mehlville fire fighters and had the time of their life.
“I was surprised to learn that Parker and his family had never been to a firehouse,” said Fahs. “I invited them to come by my station in Mehlville the next time they were in St. Louis for Parker’s treatment and they did.”
The family toured the firehouse and rode in both the heavy duty rescue truck and a pumper fire engine complete with lights and sirens blasting. The adventure concluded with a pizza dinner at the fire house compliments of the fire fighters.
“I guess you could say that we adopted them for the day,” says Fahs. “Believe me, we got more out of the visit than they did.”