Many boys have an affinity toward fire trucks and many have a few in a collection — miniature ones they can drive around the floor with one hand on top, making the siren sound with their mouths.
Few of those boys can say they have an actual, full-size and fully functional fire truck on the family property. Rielly Ward, 9, Carrier Mills, is unique in that regard. His toy is a retired 1978 pumper truck.
“He loves it. He’s all over it and wearing it out,” his father Darren Ward said.
The fire department retired the truck and sold it for scrap at a scrap years. The scrap yard removed some of the pieces, but before it was picked apart, the enterprising father bought it for his son.
“He plays on it, checks the light out every day and we drive it up and down the road,” Darren Ward said.
Young Ward is fascinated by one function in particular.
“The lights. I turn the lights on and turn the siren on,” Rielly said.
Rielly might be seen climbing upon his mighty truck or behind the wheel playing the games not uncommon for boys. He does say he hopes to become a firefighter one day.
Rielly loves his truck, his father is proud to please his son and his mother, Becky Ward, seems to be going along with the unorthodox situation. Apparently, there was some shock when Darren drove it home.
“She just really couldn’t believe it,” Darren said.
The neighbors must be scratching their heads as well. Darren did not hazard a guess at the neighbor’s reaction to the lights and sirens coming on at the whim of a playful nine-year-old.
“You’d have to ask them,” he said.
The truck may serve as a toy for both father and son for a while. Darren hopes to restore a few parts salvaged from it.
Rielly seems content with the truck just the way it is.
Darren says the community can expect to see himself and Rielly and maybe other family members in area parades.