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Firefighters use ladder to reunite mom, daughter at nursing home

Crisfield volunteer firefighters lifted Shirl Carmine to the window of her mother’s room after they were separated for four months

By Laura French

CRISFIELD, Md. — Maryland volunteer firefighters used their ladder truck to reunite a mother and daughter who had not seen each other face-to-face since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shirl Carmine had been unable to visit her mother Shirley Taylor, a resident at Alice B. Tawes Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, since early March due to pandemic-related safety restrictions, according to ABC News. Then, on Sunday, Carmine and her daughter Jessica passed by a Crisfield Volunteer Fire Department ladder truck filling up at a gas station.

Carmine told ABC News she had previously thought about getting a tall ladder to bring to the nursing home but came up with a better idea when she noticed the truck. She went into the gas station’s shop where she found Assistant Chief Engineer Matt Tomlins and asked if firefighters could take her up to her mother’s second-floor room at the nursing home.

Tomlins called Fire Chief Frankie Pruitt with the request, and Pruitt called the nursing home, which granted permission for the truck to reunite the mother-daughter pair that same day.

From the ladder, Carmine was able to see her mother in person for the first time in four months and held up a sign saying she loved her. The two put their hands up against the glass and talked for about 15 minutes. Carmine said she would have stayed longer but she didn’t want to hold up the firefighters.

“I can not even begin to put into words how much I appreciate the Crisfield Volunteer Fire Department! They made something so small as hearing someone’s voice and seeing their face, a dream come true!” Carmine’s daughter said in a Facebook post. “To see the smile on these ladies faces and see life come back to my Grandma’s eyes, it is absolutely beautiful!”[0]=AZV00LBp2eTuWHZwc-7qBWPjyBPmdDZoSRcWcVwQ1tW7bml30DkSzQqT6zO0XbbZ5nWteTm9Di1BtyrDX06LnvXu3iI8MvVv8C6YTFFFd-UvoW-KJUnlTb3Dg_wg8xiPxQU&__tn__=%2CO%2CP-R