Fire department helps woman, 104, to get to a holiday party

Oyin Balogun
Dec 29, 2018
05:43 A.M.
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A 104-year-old woman longed to make the most of the yuletide period, and she got her wish. Four FDNY fire-fighters helped make her Christmas a memorable one.


Katherine Birkle, who resides at college point in Queens, wished to join in the celebrations by attending a party at "Knights of Columbus" just a week before Christmas. However, age was a significant barrier to old Katherine.


It had not been easy maneuvering the six-brick stairs outside her house but her 68-year-old niece, Kathleen Caraccia, had an idea. It involved going to the New York Fire Department (FDNY) to seek assistance for her aged aunt. Firefighters have always shown what it means to be selfless, and this time was no different.


The men from Engine 297 ladder 130 were selfless enough to render their help so Birkle could fulfill her dreams for Christmas.


On December 18, the day of the "Knights of Columbus" Christmas party, four firefighters appeared on Birkle’s front porch as promised. Both women couldn't hide their delightful surprise as Birkle said:

“I expected one to come and four of them showed up. They were very happy to assist me”. Caraccia through tears showed her appreciation and mentioned that she wanted their kind gesture to be recognized. They helped her aunty down into a waiting car."


The four FDNY officers: Dominick Vincenti, Christian Mendler, Andre Mann, and Kevin McGuigan, from Engine 297 Ladder 130 also saw to it that Kathleen got back home safely after the party. Mendler shared the story on their Facebook page saying:

“We work right around the corner, and we were happy to help Katherine attend her party. Later that day, we made sure she was home safe and warm. We know she has a difficult time getting around and we were happy to help. This is what we do; it is our job to help the community any way we can.”

This isn't the first time Birkle has experienced kindness from the fire department; she received a surprise birthday cake on her 100th year celebration. The FDNY has shown that apart from fighting the fire, they are also available for other services way out of their job description - service to humanity.

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