Bismarck Fire Department grants teen's wish
By BLAIR EMERSON
May. 21, 2018
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Logan Triepke has a lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter.
His dream recently came true when the Bismarck Fire Department made him an honorary firefighter.
Triepke, 17, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which causes his muscles to get progressively weaker. He was diagnosed with the disorder when he was an infant.
Firefighters made a surprise announcement in the lunch room at Bismarck High School. After Logan walked into the room, his eyes lit up when he saw a fire crew standing there, holding his own helmet that displayed his last name.
"(Logan is) probably more brave than the rest of us are, and so today we would like to make him an honorary firefighter," said Joe Gartner, of the Bismarck Fire Department.
This wasn't Triepke's first visit from local firefighters. In October, the Bismarck Fire Department surprised him with a certificate and a ride around the block in the firetruck after he entered a drawing contest for Fire Prevention month.
Sheyenne Schneider, Logan's case manager and special education teacher, said Triepke wanted to enter the contest, which asked students in grades 2-4 to plan two fire escape routes out of a building. Though he didn't fall under the contest age requirements, he still wanted to share his escape routes and tell firefighters he admires the work that they do.
"We decided we were going to present him with a certificate, and we ended up learning more about him while we were there," said Gartner, adding that they also learned of Logan's half brother, who also had Duchenne's and died right before his 15th birthday.
"It just kind of touched us," said Gartner, whose son was diagnosed with neroblastoma, and so he, too, wanted to give back.
The Bismarck Fire Department was able to use money from the Bismarck Firefighters Assistance Fund to get a helmet for Logan, which Schneider presumes Logan will be wearing until the end of the school year.
"It's the first time we've ever done something like this," Gartner said. "We thought it'd be a good thing for the department and to brighten his day."
Jackie Aldinger, Logan's grandmother, said Logan talks about how he wants to be a firefighter "all the time." In fact, for the past three Halloweens, he dressed up as a firefighter. The reason Logan gave as to why he wants to be a firefighter is to help people.
"I think it's awesome," Aldinger told The Bismarck Tribune . "It'll mean the world to him.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com