Captain Chip Leathlean works as a firefighter with the Suwannee County Fire and Rescue in Florida. One day, he was giving a fire safety presentation at an elementary school, and he noticed that one young girl was not nearly engaged in the presentation like all of the other children.
That girl was named Jakhyriana, and she was not engaged in it because she could not see it. The young girl is visually impaired. So after the main presentation, Chip walked up to the girl, spoke with her a minute and had her hold the head of the hose they use in fighting fires. She was all smiles after that. She could feel it, and now she felt like she was involved in a big part of the presentation, and it made her feel very special.
Says Chip: “I understood that visually impaired ‘see’ with touch, and I wanted to include her in part of it. When she touched the nozzle, her face lit up, and so did mine.”
And after the young girl got home, she went on and on to her mom about it. When photos of that special moment hit social media, they quickly went viral. And when her mom spotted it on Facebook, she broke down and cried. Chip said it reaffirmed positivity in his career, and an official with the girl’s school wrote on Facebook that they were all thankful for their first responders and their “loyalty and commitment” to the community.