Since many of the pediatric patients at Niswonger could not spend Christmas at home like most children their age, Johnson City firefighters have been bringing Christmas toys donated by the community in addition to these stuffed animals for five years now, according to Adam Momberger, an engineer with the fire department.
Momberger said visiting the patients on Christmas Day is particularly special for the firefighters who are also unable to spend the holiday with their families.
“The Christmas visit is a little bit more special because it’s a magical time of the year for them,” Momberger said. “We can’t be with our families today, so what better way to spend Christmas Day than hopefully brightening up the lives of a few children?
“Seeing a child in a bad state can be upsetting, especially for those of us who have children. But just to see their smiles and provide them a distraction from what they’re going through means the world to us.”
Momberger said firefighters have a special place in the community — one that many children grow up looking up to. With this in mind, he said the Johnson City Fire Department uses every opportunity to not only help children but also provide them with positive role models.
“We have a unique platform with our position. Children look up to us and see our job as being something special, and when you’re given that platform, it’s a responsibility to use it the correct way and impact your community,” he said.