Mother praises firefighters after they comforted her son during torrential rain

Birtley and Gateshead Crews together

A crew of friendly firefighters have been praised by a Gateshead mother after they helped comfort her autistic son during a storm.

During the flash floods on October 5th this year, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) received a call about an electrical fire in Low Fell.

Stormy weather across the region has caused a number of roads to flood but had also sparked the blaze at the property on Durham Road.

Thankfully the crews from Birtley Community Fire Station and one from Gateshead Community Fire Station were able to extinguish the fire with minimal damage.

But while they were there their attention was drawn to a schoolboy who was watching them from the back lane.

They approached 11-year-old Ryan and soon learned from his mother Lorna that he was autistic and had been struggling to adjust to a new school.

He was also terrified by the stormy weather but his day soon turned around when the firefighters invited him to inspect their kit.

They showed off the thermal camera and answered questions from inquisitive Ryan who told them he dreamed of being a firefighter.

He has since been invited down to meet the kind-hearted crews at Birtley and today (Thursday) his mother has praised the crews for making him feel safe in a storm.

Mother-of-two Lorna said “I wanted to say a huge thank you for the kindness and patience they showed on what was a busy day.

“Both crews made my little boy who is having a really rough time at the moment very happy.

“Ryan would love to be a firefighter when he grows up, he loves playing with the garden hose and will climb any ladder he can get on!”

Watch Manager Jeff Haywood, who was part of the crew responding to the fire, said he was glad the conversation with Ryan had made him feel safe.

He said “It’s always great when we get the opportunity to speak to younger members of the public and explain all the different sides of the job.

“Hopefully speaking to us and getting to know what we do will help inspire the next generation of firefighters.

“Our vision is to create the safest community, whether that’s putting out flames or comforting a child in a storm.”

Ryan’s love of firefighters comes from his passion for watch hit HBO show Chicago Fire with his mum Lorna and his aunty.