Boy to present 'Jaws of Life' to Plymouth fire station today
The Citizens' Voice - 8/22/2019
Aug. 22--PLYMOUTH -- He did it.
The 10-year-old boy with autism who sold lemonade for weeks to buy the "Jaws of Life" tool for his neighborhood firehouse will be presented with the device on Thursday night, the station's fire chief announced on Facebook.
Brian Lyons, who holds the ceremonial title of "junior fire chief" in the borough, raised more than $9,500 to buy the vehicle extraction tool.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Brian was still about $2,000 short of his $9,500 goal. But it was announced the owner of Genesis Rescue Systems planned to give the "Jaws of Life" to the fire station on Thursday while the remaining funds were being raised.
It didn't take long to reach the goal.
Later Wednesday, AMP Global Strategies, a communications and consulting firm in Dallas that often works with first responders, made a $2,000 pledge to Brian's campaign to put him over the top.
"We could not see that young man not reach his goal by tomorrow," said Brenda Pugh, chief executive of AMP Global Strategies, about why she decided to come forward.
As previously planned before the goal was met, a representative with Genesis will deliver the device to Brian at the firehouse at 6 p.m. Thursday, according to Fire Chief Brian Oppelt of the Elm Hill Hose Co. No. 3.
The device will go into service Friday, Oppelt said.
"Brian and his family have been nothing short of awesome over the past five weeks," Oppelt wrote on Facebook. "I'd personally like to thank them and everyone who donated to make this happen. No matter if it was a dollar or $500, it all helped and made this possible."
Brian has made a flurry of regional media appearances during his campaign and recently made a pitch to get the attention of national talk show host Ellen Degeneres.
During a recent interview with The Citizens' Voice, Brian explained why he launched the effort to obtain the "Jaws of Life."
"So I could save more people," he said.
Brian, who attends State Street Elementary School, became honorary "junior fire chief" several years ago after asking his mother Linda Uren to visit the Vine Street firehouse. Hanging out at the firehouse enabled Brian to "come out of his shell" and be more social, she said.
"Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible for Brian and Elm Hill Hose Co. No. 3. He couldn't have done it without all of you," Uren said.
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