Los Angeles First Responders Team Up to Grant Child’s Wish

Friday, April 24, 2015
Los Angeles

Over the last few days, Los Angeles First Responders were honored to make an 8-year old boy's dreams come true. Noah Cohen, from Vermont, was diagnosed at birth with a rare disease called VACTERL association that required him to endure 24 surgeries. But despite his life-threatening condition, he still continues to be energetic and positive.

Noah shaking hands with a firefighter
As a child, Cohen has a strong fascination with the lifestyle of firefighters and police officers. With the aid of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a non-profit organization whose goal is to grant the wishes of a child with a life threatening disease, Noah’s admiration for First Responders would soon become a reality. The organization arranged for Noah and his family to travel to Los Angeles to fulfill his wish: experiencing the excitement of being a Los Angeles Firefighter and Los Angeles Police Officer over an unforgettable three days (April 22-24, 2015).

On his first flight to Los Angeles, Noah arrived off the plane thrilled and excited to experience his dream. Short in statue, but big in charisma; he walked down the stairs of the plane with an enormous smile across his face. He was greeted by multiple agencies. Full of energy, he waved dramatically at the firefighters, police officers, and news reporters that greeted him with open arms.

Noah surrounded by a group of LAFD Recruits

After shaking hands with the key officers, Noah had the opportunity to ride in a firetruck to his “welcoming ceremony". There he and his family were presented with a welcoming speech, during which he was given special gifts and uniform apparel. After the opening speech, Noah was soon escorted outside, where he participated in multiple activities. He was able to try on the uniforms of both services and even viewed the different interiors of emergency vehicles.

The LAFD was excited to assist Noah in continuing his emergency services career on Friday when he joined the Recruit Class at Drill Tower 40 in San Pedro at 8:00 am. He was provided a swearing-in speech and an honorary acceptance, got fitted in protective equipment, and was ran through a specialized training course. 

Noah on a LAFD boat
Noah then had to implement his newly acquired skills in extinguishing a fire, taking vital signs in a simulated medical emergency, then assisted extricating a trapped victim from a traffic collision by raising the vehicle off a patient utilizing an air bag system. 
Young Firefighter Cohen was then provided a graduation and swore a modified oath-of-office, then had a Firefighter badge pinned on him and was given a special plaque. 
Finally, Noah went to sea at LAFD Fire Station 112 in San Pedro where he got an up-close look at Fireboat 2, the City’s largest, and then joined the firefighters for lunch.
All agencies involved were moved by this brave young man and were honored to provide a memorable experience, that we will never forget, and we hope he doesn't either. 
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