Firefighters are my wee boy's heroes. And he just got to meet some! – Hayley Matthews

My youngest is obsessed with fire engines, firefighters and anything emergency services-related at the moment.

Firefighters race to deal with an emergency call (Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Firefighters race to deal with an emergency call (Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Every morning we pass by Marionville fire station and he says good morning to the fire engines, waving to them as I do a pretend voice saying hello back. He's really curious about what lies behind those doors but we've never ventured down to have a look (if only we knew someone who could arrange a visit, oh well).

He's so obsessed with being a firefighter that he dressed as one for Halloween, has a firefighter helmet, and loves to block off the entrance to a room with smashed-up cars asking "is there an emergency?" and "do you need a fire engine to the rescue?"

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He also just randomly, on occasion, gets on his firefighter's jacket, tapes a siren to his scooter and pulls out a hammer for his journey to nursery, just in case anyone needs a door kicked in or a kitten rescuing from a tree, as you do on a Wednesday at 9am.

So when we were out walking our dog, a friend mentioned to our youngest (as he stood clad in his firefighter gear) how her neighbour works at Marrionville fire station. "Would you like to go if I can arrange a visit?" she asked. The smile said it all! It's something I'd thought about before but never got round to, as I wasn't sure if it would be too overwhelming for him.

However, from his ear-to-ear grin at the mention of a visit to see the nee-naws, it was clear the answer was yes! You know how you get some people who promise to do something nice for you or your kids then, it never comes to anything? Well, not our friend Claire.

She messaged her neighbour there and then, got it all sorted for my little fire engine fanatic and really went out of her way to make his dream of visiting the local fire station come true. How completely and utterly selfless, and not even wanting anything in return other than to see a wee boy smile. She's a gem!

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So our wee boy got all dressed up and ready to go, with his firefighter’s jacket, helmet, siren, torch, as well as various other paraphernalia dangling from his special belt. We met Claire at the fire station and chapped the door.

So excited to see what lay behind the big doors, we walked in to see the huge life-saving vehicles, all the helmets and clothing that the firefighters jump into when the bell rings, and we even got to chat to them in the kitchen as we munched on chocolate biscuits with the night watch.

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In awe of everyone around us and with the realisation we were with real firefighters, my son started to get a bit shy and a tad emotional. So, calling it a night we thanked everyone, wished them a good shift (not saying the Q word, if you know, you know), and went home to tell dad and big brother all about it.

I'm so grateful to have such genuine friends. My kids are lucky to have a good group of adopted aunties around them to look out for them and make their dreams come true. So thank you, you know who you are!