© Paul Hutchings
The Deer Lake Fire Department gave Geoffrey Coish, left, a birthday present to remember when they picked him up Thursday afternoon in a fire truck. Coish suffers from mental and physical complications and fire chief John Dinney said they wanted to do something special for him.
DEER LAKE For most people, seeing a fire truck at their doorstep usually means trouble.
But for a Deer Lake resident with special needs, a visit from one of the fire department’s tankers meant a dream come true.
Geoffrey Coish suffers from mental and physical conditions, including psoriasis of the kidneys. He has loved anything to do with fire departments his whole life, he said, and Thursday’s visit is something he’ll remember for the rest of his life.
Especially since it was his birthday.
Department members, including chief John Dinney, drove the tanker to his High Street home and took him on a 15-minute drive, allowing him to operate the lights and sirens and letting him ask any questions he wanted about the life of a firefighter.
“They let me operate the breaker,” said Coish, referring to the CB radio in the cab of the truck.
“I really liked doing this. I’m glad they came and gave me a ride.”
He said he learned that people shouldn’t make prank calls to the fire department, and that the members are there to help everyone. His ride took him up through Nicholsville Road and onto Route 430, then back into Deer Lake and onto his street.
Dinney said the department heard about Coish about a month ago and how much he loved the fire trucks, and wanted to do something special for him.
“We just wanted to do something special for him, and it was good seeing how happy it made him,” said Dinney.
The fire chief added that it was done at a time when the department wasn’t busy and if a call had come in, it would have taken an obvious priority.
Coish said he would have liked to have been a firefighter if he were able.