We took my son who is 18 months to a birthday party over the weekend and had a great time. Our across the street neighbors have twin boys who were just turning 1 and they threw a heck of a party. We were watching them prepare all morning, bringing in boxes of presents and balloons and such. Then a truck pulled up and unloaded two of those moonwalk bouncing castles and we thought Wow! all this for 1-year-olds. Well, they do have large extended familes with lots of children, so it made sense. But then my jaw dropped when two large San Antonio Fire Engines pulled up and parked in front of our house. I knew the parents had chosen fire fighters as the theme for their kids' room, but this was truly over the top. I wondered who had what kind of pull to make this happen.
As it turns out, it did not require any pull at all. The mother had simply stopped by the local fire station the day before and asked if they would mind dropping by for the party and they happily agreed. I think there were 8 or 9 firemen there all dressed up and they gave all the kids (about 15-20 of all ages) a tour of the trucks and a short lesson in fire safety basics.
It was a swell way to kick off the birthday party. My little boy had a great time climbing around on the fire engines - a tanker and a ladder truck - and we took lots of pictures.
It was a great bit of PR for the fire department plus an opportunity to promote fire safety. I'm sure the city encourages them to get out and do things like this. It probably beats sitting around the fire station all the time and they would have been able to respond to any emergency in the same amount of time since they were less than a mile away from the firehouse.