Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department lights up the fire truck for drive-by celebrations

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They haven't just been for kids; over the weekend, they visited a woman celebrating her 100th birthday.

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — While birthday celebrations are disrupted due to social distancing safety measures, the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department is bringing the birthday fun to kids’ front doors.

The volunteer firefighters are offering free drive-by celebrations for Arlington residents. On Thursday morning they visited two kids celebrating their 7th and 10th birthdays. Since they started, the fire department says it’s been swamped with requests. And they haven’t just been for kids; over the weekend, they visited a woman celebrating her 100th birthday.

“There’s just something about a big red fire truck coming down with lights and sirens and people waving and saying happy birthday out of the window for you that’s always going to put a smile on your face,” said Lieutenant Christopher Longman. “And I don’t think that discriminates on age. I think everybody is always going to smile when they see that.” Longman says he spent multiple birthdays as a child at his local fire department.

Lieutenant Michael Ridings made his first two drive-by celebrations on Thursday. His father was a firefighter. “Being in a volunteer fire department, we just never let that dream die. And now I get to drive [a fire truck]. So it was always a lot of fun when I would see him growing up so it’s nice to give that experience back to some other kids.”

The fire department is a nonprofit organization that doesn’t get funding from the county. Its drive by celebrations are free but its members are always accepting donations.

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