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Brooklyn Center firefighters surprise kids in hospice with sleds for snow emergencies

Brooklyn Center firefighters surprise kids in hospice with sleds for snow emergencies
Brooklyn Center firefighters surprise kids in hospice with sleds for snow emergencies 02:01

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. -- A snowy day turned into a day of fun for some kids at a Brooklyn Center hospice home.

Crescent Cove is a place where families find help near the end of life and for respite care. On Tuesday, they received a surprise visit from two Brooklyn Center firefighters with a box full of sleds.

"When we saw Brandon [Gautsch] and Royce [Wetterhahn] walk up with a box of sleds we're going - what do they have up their sleeve today?" said Katie Lindenfelser, the founder and executive director of Crescent Cove.

The sleds were immediately embraced by all the kids staying at Crescent Cove. Milo, who has a complex medical condition and shortened life expectancy, was getting rides around the halls inside, while Lauren, who is also getting care at Crescent Cove, was getting pulled around in the snow outside, while her care attendants cheered her on.

"How often have any of our children in Crescent Cove been able to be in a sled? They don't get to do those everyday things," said Lindenfelser.

While the sleds will mostly be used for fun, the firefighters want them in each kids room for life-saving reasons.

"We would be able to move the kids to the sleds, then the emergency responders would be able to come around the back side of the building and move them to a safer area," said Brooklyn Center Deputy Fire Marshal Brandon Gautsh.

Since most of the Crescent Cove kids are wheelchair bound, the sleds would help them escape faster during snowy months, in case of an emergency.

"Something complicated can be solved with something very simple like .. a sled," said Brooklyn Center Fire Inspector Royce Wetterhahn.

The Brooklyn Center Walmart donated all the sleds within an hour of the fire department making a call. So until the sleds are needed for safety, they'll just be used for smiles.

"It's significant to see Milo smile because his brother just died a couple months ago here at Crescent Cove," said Lindenfelser.

These simple toys allow grief to slide to the way side for a while.

"Everything happens in such a beautiful way here," said Lindenfelser.

If you're interested in donating a sled, or another toy for these kids, you can drop them off at Crescent Cove during their toy drive this Sunday from 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Crescent Cove doesn't charge any of the families for care. The operate solely on donations. Click here for more information.

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