Pictured is the original “War Wagon,” one of the best shifts that I had the privilege of working. However, the reason for the card... A pleasant surprise
This firefighting crew represented Engine 1- C shift in Chester in 1998. From left, Pete Hypes, Wendy Owens, Angela Roddy, David Lewis and Rob McLean.

Pictured is the original “War Wagon,” one of the best shifts that I had the privilege of working. However, the reason for the card is the little girl, Angela Roddy, is with us. This little girl lived close to the fire station and used to ride her bike by the fire station all of the time, but she did not have a bike helmet. One day, she was riding down the sidewalk on Route 10. We had just pulled out of the fire station and were sitting behind a pickup truck at Old Hundred Road and Route 10. We saw a guy driving, but he never looked in the direction from which Roddy was coming.

The truck hit the girl right in front of us. Although she was injured, her injuries were not serious. After she had returned home, we were able to give her a bike helmet. This was at a time when fire and police departments were promoting the wearing of bike helmets for safety.

The pleasant surprise to this story was that the other day, my mom, wife and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in Chester. The young lady who waited on us asked if I recognized her? You guessed it! The young lady waiting on us was the little girl in the picture, 21 years later. She told me that she was about to finish community college and wanted to transfer to Old Dominion University.

Blessings come in many forms. Fire Station No. 1 was truly a community fire station. To get to see this young lady years later was a special moment. My memory is not what it used to be, but she recognized me right away. When she told me her first name, I knew exactly who she was.

I pray that the Lord will use her to touch many lives as she continues her life’s journey.

The moral of the 1998 story was that bike helmets save lives, and they still do today. A pleasant surprise allowed me to share a timeless reminder.