Galax Fire Department gives teenager with Downs Syndrome the 'best day ever'
GALAX. Va. (WSET) -- The Galax Fire Department gave 16-year-old Tyson Ford a birthday gift to remember.
According to his mother Kyla Ford, Tyson, who was born with Downs Syndrome, always wanted to be a firefighter since he was young.
"All I've wanted is for him to be able to live out his dreams and reach the goals he wants to," Kyla said.
For his 16th birthday, the Galax Fire Department made his dream a reality.
Tyson had the opportunity to have , "the best day ever," by gearing up in a uniform, getting in a firetruck and fighting his first fire.
The Galax Fire Department used their training grounds to use lights and sirens and create a fire. Smoke was produced by a smoke machine and the flames were extinguished from outside the building.
Galax Fire Captain Mike Ayers said being a firefighter begins in the heart, which made Tyson a firefighter long before that day.
"Tyson has been a firefighter for years, he has it in his heart. He cares about people, he loves everybody and he's fearless," Ayers said.
According to Ayers, Tyson was on top of his game. He consistently checked on his crew and made sure everyone was prepared to put out the fire.
His parents, Steven and Kyla, developed a relationship with the Galax fire department by being their trainers.
Firefighter Brady White said Steven and Kyla not only made them stronger physically, but helped to make them better personally.
"To be able to give back to them like they gave to us by doing this for Tyson, it was awesome," White said.
Kyla went on to share how thankful she and her family is for the opportunity.
"We want him to reach his goals and dreams. They may not be met in the same way everyone gets to meet theirs, but we strive to make sure he can reach the same dreams in his way," she said.