About once a month for the past seven years, Captain Jeff Hayes would jump in the fire truck of Seattle’s Station 38 and, with some of his crew, drive the rumbling fire truck into the driveway of the Ronald McDonald House a block away. After offering kids a chance to sit in the massive vehicle, the firefighters would then amble down to the dining room and greet all the children and families waiting for dinner. To children living at the House for a long time, these repeated and regular visits were something to look forward to and the small crowd of uniformed men would always bring an extra spark of life to the House.
Judy Adams, the House’s manager of volunteer services, remembers how great it was to see the firefighters spread out around the dining room, sharing their time with as many children and families as they could. “Sometimes we’d lose them mid-way on a call,” Judy says.
The importance of their dedicated visits came to light one evening in particular, when a boy with a neck stunt accidentally fell off a bench unexpectedly, rendering him helpless to get back up. It was a great comfort to everyone when a crew of friendly faces showed up instead of strangers. It was Station 38 to the rescue!
Captain Hayes is now off to enjoy a well-deserved retirement, riding his Harley and rocking out with his band, Drummer Boy. We hope to still see the old crew from time to time, but we’ll miss you, Captain Hayes!