Capt. Colin Brunt climbed into Brighton Fire Rescue Tower 51, a 46-foot long fire truck with a ladder. Trailed by his colleagues in Engine 52, Brunt traveled to Bason Kramer’s house to wish the 5-year-old a happy birthday. When they arrived, the crews switched on their lights and honked their horns while a firefighter stepped out to hand the boy a certificate.
This was not a typical day for the Brighton Fire Department, but it was a welcome one.
Since COVID-19 began to spread, Brunt has worked six 48-hour rotations. Each day of every rotation, he’s responded to multiple COVID-19 medical calls.
When his six-person firefighter and EMS team shows up to a house with a presumed positive case, a paramedic enters the house for reconnaissance while Brunt and his team prepare an ambulance for the patient by wrapping the inside of the cabin with thick plastic.
Before the birthday party, Brunt’s unit extinguished a car fire, helped out on a call of a tractor-trailer hanging off the side of a highway and responded to a fire alarm. Brunt took a mask and worries about exposure to the coronavirus.
“That’s our worst-case scenario that goes through all of our heads, bringing something back to our family,” said Brunt, who is married and has two daughters in kindergarten.
Birthday drive-bys — which more fire departments are doing to lift the spirits of isolated children — and other non-coronavirus calls were a nice change. “It’s a morale booster,” Brunt said.