By Leigh Ann Rutledge
Allen Miller recently learned dreams do come true.
Miller, 37, an adult with developmental disabilities, always wanted to be a firefighter and had his chance Sept. 6 when he was named “Honorary Captain” for the day for Carrollton Village Fire Department.
Beth Campbell, direct care staff at The Farm in Malvern, called Carrollton Firefighter Brian Keyser and explained Miller’s interest in firefighting. She asked if she could get a shirt for Miller. Keyser not only gave Miller a shirt, but offered him the chance to tour the firehouse and learn about fighting fire.
Miller and four firemen spent around two-and-a-half hours looking at trucks and learning about being a fireman. Captain Miller toured the firehouse and learned what each truck’s purpose was for fighting fire. He sat in the driver’s seat of the trucks, running the lights and sirens. He also put on protective fire gear and learned about the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) system. The group then headed to the fairgrounds where Miller took a ride in Engine 10, the new Suphten Engine, the department recently put into service.
Keyser, along with fellow firemen Kevin Keyser, Kurt Davis and Kyle Davis, showed Miller how to hook the fire hose up to the hydrant and spray water. He also used the top mounted monitor sprayer on the engine.
“I made some friends,” Miller happily stated. “Some firefighter friends who said I could stop and visit anytime someone is at the fire house.” Miller’s favorite part was holding the fire hose and spraying the water. “They showed me all the different kinds of spray formations and the names,” he said. “Brian wanted to help me but I told him ‘I can handle it’.”
“This started as something very minor and turned into a wonderful day,” Campbell said. “I think it turned into an even better day than the firemen anticipated. Allen had so much fun. How could you not enjoy the day when you look at his smile?”
Miller attends The Farm weekdays where he helps with chores and learns life skills. He has his own lawnmover he drives around the 10-plus acre complex. Miller does his own maintenance on the tractor, checking and changing the oil and keeping it filled with gas.