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Bellevue Fire Department making drive by visits on kids' birthdays

Posted at 6:52 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 19:52:04-04

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) — Birthdays can be a little disappointing at home while you're social distancing. But not anymore in Bellevue. The Bellevue Fire Department is making sure kids still feel special on their birthday by making special drive by visits.

Four-year-old Clara got a visit Monday afternoon. She and her little brother jumped up and down and waved from the bed of their families pick-up truck, while the rest of her family smiled and took pictures to capture the excitement.

“She really wanted to have a roller skating party and we couldn’t make that happen this year so this was cool,” Chanyn Wise, Clara’s mother said.

“It was the least we could do,” Shari Lentsch, EMS Supervisor Bellevue Fire Department said. “If they’re not going to get that birthday party and they’re not going to get to go out for dinner at least we can bring a smile to their face in this way.”

It all started with a request on Facebook.

“They thought it was the Bellevue FD here in Nebraska, it turns out it was Bellevue in another state that was doing this,” Lentsch said.

Bellevue, Nebraska liked the idea and started making birthday visits to kids too! They've had hundreds of requests after the first week of making visits.

“We’re not doing a lot of the public events that we normally would do,” Lentsch said. “So it’s been great for us to get out of the stations and still interact with the community a little bit.”

Bellevue Fire Stations make visits within their territories to make sure emergencies still come first. Most people have been understanding if they show up late to a visit because of a call.

“They have all of their fire gear with them whether they are in an ambulance or whether they are in an engine,” Lentsch said. “That way if there is another call they have everything they need.”

The visits are free for Bellevue residents. Parents can email the fire department at to make the request for children under 12 with birthdays in April.