'He knows what a firefighter is and does but this is his first time 'seeing' one and now has an idea of what a firefighter looks like.'
No matter how bad a day you are having, certain things can always put a smile on your face. Like finding a forgotten dollar in an old pair of pants, running into an old friend out of the blue, videos of cats and dogs being goofy and instances of people exhibiting traits that make us inherently human: compassion and empathy. The r/MadeMeSmile community on Reddit is a space where—as the name suggests—folks all over the world share posts, videos and stories that made them smile. Reddit user u/evedayis recently shared one such video that's all kinds of heart-melting.
Shared with the caption, "Boy 'Sees' a Firefighter for the First Time," the adorable clip shows a fireman patiently kneeling down and sitting so that a little boy with visual impairment can explore his uniform and gear by touch. "When you are blind so the firefighter lets you explore his uniform and gear," the text overlay on the video reads. "He knows what a firefighter is and does but this is his first time 'seeing' one and now has an idea of what a firefighter looks like." In the video, the child moves around the kneeling fireman, touching different parts of his firefighting suit while the firefighter calmly explains what each of his equipment does.
The adorable exchange between the little boy and the firefighter won many hearts online, both on Reddit and other social media platforms. "This is the best thing I have seen in a long time. I appreciate all involved in making this possible," commented Reddit user steveandlillydog. "The kid now has a more detailed understanding of firefighting gear than I do," wrote u/gadadhoon. "It just hit me how terrifying it must be to encounter a firefighter in an emergency situation if you've never 'seen' one before. This is potentially lifesaving on top of everything else," pointed out u/purplecak.
Reddit user HoldingAces35 provided some more insight into this observation, writing: "So at my station whenever we have kids come visit, we show them the truck, give them helmets and toys, etc and try to establish a really really good rapport over the course of half an hour or so. The gear goes on last. And we put it on piece by piece to gradually let them see the full ensemble. Once we are fully dressed and breathing tank air we talk to them and repeat an activity or two we showed them without any of our gear to demonstrate that we are the same guys. Because at 2 am when they're hiding in their closet with their toys because that's the most comforting place they know amidst fire and smoke, 250lbs of part man part machine crashing into their bedroom is TERRIFYING for kids. We want them to come to us."
The now-viral video was also shared by the Good News Movement on Instagram, where people were equally impressed by the firefighter's kind and thoughtful gesture. "The way the firefighter is patiently explaining each piece of equipment and allowing the time for learning and discovery. Bless them both," wrote one Instagram user. "I'm crying. This is amazing to see. The fireman is a true human being who has a huge heart. Whoever this fireman is I want to thank him for being so amazing. He’s inspired me to be a better person. Thank you," commented another.