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Teen with Autism surprised on Christmas morning with fire truck ride

The fire department took 13-year-old Andy Rowe on a ride in their fire truck, giving him the "best Christmas ever."

SHERIDAN, Ark. — On Christmas morning, one central Arkansas boy received an experience unlike any other, all thanks to the local volunteer fire department!

Andy Rowe is a 13-year-old boy who has Autism.

Because of Andy's love for fire trucks and firefighters, members of the Center Grove Volunteer Fire Department in Sheridan showed up at Andy's home on Christmas morning to surprise him with gifts.

According to Andy's mother, Crystal Copeland, the excitement began when a fire truck pulled up to their house with sirens on. Then, Chief Mike Stokes and Assistant Chief Mark VanBrunt presented Andy with gifts.

The best part, however, was when they let him ride in the fire truck! 

Andy got to sit in the passenger seat as they cruised down the street, and even got to speak to Chief Stokes through the CB radio.

"These firefighters love their community so much, and have expressed the need for my son in education of the Autism community as well in their line of work," Copeland said.

The department made quite the impact on Andy. He said their visit made his Christmas "the best Christmas ever."

"This department is volunteer, so none of them get paid to do what they do day in and day out," Copeland added. "It's only for the love that they have for their community."

Copeland said she wishes more people were as accepting of the differences of children with Autism as the volunteers of the fire department are. Earlier this week, the department accepted Andy as an honorary Cadet of their team.

"They have definitely made me and my son's world a better place!" Copeland said.

Please welcome our newest member Andy Rowe...Andy turned 13 today and has Autism...Andy is a special young man and loves Firefighters and Fire Trucks...We will teach him and we know he will teach...

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