Pint-sized patients receive uplifting visit from local heroes

Firefighter/EMT Sean Sicurello and Firefighter/Paramedic Sheri Wenzel pose with a welcome sign made by TMC's Child Life Specialists

Firefighter/EMT Sean Sicurello and Firefighter/Paramedic Sheri Wenzel pose with a welcome sign made by TMC’s Child Life Specialists

It was all treats, and no tricks inside TMC for Children, as firefighters from the Old Pueblo Firefighting Association (OPFFA) paid a visit to some of TMC’s youngest patients.

Firefighter/Paramedics Sheri Wenzel and Mike Crain, along with Firefighter/EMT Sean Sicurello, were fresh off a 24-hour shift when they arrived to spend time with children who were eagerly awaiting their visit. 

Carlos Bustos, age 2

Carlos Bustos, age 2

“As first responders, we usually just transport children to the hospital, and it’s not very often that we get to actually see the hospital care they receive.  This is a great experience for us, and it’s our pleasure to be able to spend time with these deserving kids,” said Wenzel.

The firefighters went from room to room, giving each child a copy of Born to Wear Blue, a children’s book that was written by Tucson author Patty Vallance, along with a fire helmet and a pencil. 

Some patients, like 2-year-old Carlos Bustos, couldn’t wait for the crew to come to him, and instead decided to bolt out into the hallway to meet them.  He couldn’t get his helmet on fast enough.

The firefighters visit with Eduardo Armenta, age 11

The firefighters visit with
Eduardo Armenta, age 11

Eleven-year-old Eduardo Armenta was especially jazzed about the visit, and proudly communicated his knowledge of fire safety with the crew.  “If you are in a smoky house, get low to the floor, and get out.  Before you open any door, feel it first, and make sure it’s not hot,” he said.

Children were then invited to gather under the tree where Sicurello read the book aloud as children and their parents followed along.

“It’s really important for these children to have visitors when they’re in the hospital,” said Nikki Wells, TMC Child Life Specialist.  “It helps break up the monotony of their day, and really gives them something to look forward to – which is such an important part of the healing process.”

Firefighter/Paramedics Sheri Wenzel and Mike Crain, along with Firefighter/EMT Sean Sicurello

Firefighter/Paramedics Sheri Wenzel and Mike Crain, along with Firefighter/EMT Sean Sicurello

The firefighters also spent some time touring the facility in order to learn more about what their fundraising efforts will benefit.  OPFFA is currently selling a 2014 calendar in which a portion of the proceeds go to Children’s Miracle Network, TMC for Children. 

Children’s Miracle Network, TMC for Children is grateful for the various fundraising efforts carried out by individuals and businesses in the Tucson community.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Rd. | Tucson, AZ 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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