Firefighters Throw 3-Year-Old a Surprise Birthday Party When His Guests Cancel

Little Jackson loves nothing more than firefighters.

When all of little Jackson’s friends said they couldn’t come to his birthday party at the last minute, the local fire department threw him a surprise party he’ll never forget.

Jackson, of North Carolina, spent his third birthday climbing firetrucks, learning how to use firefighting equipment and having cupcakes at a firehouse, thanks to the last-minute planning of the Harrisburg Fire Department.  

“I didn’t think he was going to have a party, and now I have these firemen welcome us into [their home]," his mom, Melissa Reid told "They saved my son's birthday and this is something he'll never forget."

Reid explained that she planned for Jackson and 15 friends to go to Monkey Joe’s weeks ahead of his birthday, but hours before they were due at the venue, she started getting calls from parents saying their kids had fallen ill.

“We just went through a hurricane and I’m sure there are some allergens and some funky stuff in the air,” Reid said. “I totally understand. If my child was sick, I wouldn’t let them go to a birthday party."

But the doting mother started worrying what she would do to make her son's day. She explained she had gotten up early that morning, excited for a fun birthday.

“He had no idea what was going on,” Reid said. “My husband and I were kind of going back and forth. ‘What should we do? Should we cancel it? Should we just have the one friend that could come over to our house instead?’”

Knowing their son is enamored by firefighters and their trucks, she decided to ring up their local fire house, and see if they could do a last-minute tour of the facility or simply take a picture in front of a fire engine.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, sure,’” Capt. Joe Yowler of the Harrisburg Fire Department told “I got off the phone, I called two other stations and said, ‘Hey, what do you guys think about coming over and helping out?’”

Just a few hours later, their firehouse was decorated with balloons, decorations, cupcakes and ice cream.

When Jackson and the rest of his family saw the surprise and the biggest fire engines parked out front, they were shocked.

“I was thanking them, and I could barely keep it together,” Reid said. "[Jackson] realizes that these men are his heroes they are his friends they have gone above and beyond to make his day special."

Yowler said he and the other firefighters welcomed Jackson’s company.

“He just bounced from truck to truck and he was just like us," he said. “The guys were having just as much fun hanging out and doing this with him. It was a really good time.”

He explained that as a dad to young kids himself, he knew how much a small gesture could impact someone like Jackson.

“I’d want someone to do this for my kids if I was in the same situation,” Yowler said. “It doesn’t take much out of anybody’s day or anybody’s effort to just say yes and do something good."