Video: Firefighter connects with boy using sign language

Manchester Fire Department Lt. Mike Rheault engaged with a 9-year-old boy after responding to a fire alarm in his apartment building

By FireRescue1 News Staff

MANCHESTER, Mass. — A firefighter and a 9-year-old boy shared a special moment when they realized they were able to communicate using sign language.

AJC reported that Manchester Fire Department Lt. Mike Rheault was responding to a fire alarm at an apartment building due to burning food in one of the units.

After giving the building the all clear, Rheault was reassuring several kids when he came across Tegan McCall, 9, who couldn’t verbally answer his questions.

“I happened to see a kid come by, and I said, ‘High five,’” Rheault said. “He gave me a high five and I said, ‘You cold?’ And he just kind of looked at me, and looked like he wanted to communicate, but he was reading my lips a lot.”

Teagan was born with cerebral palsy, and often uses nonverbal communication.

This was no problem for Rheault, who immediately began using sign language to talk to the boy, knowledge he gained while growing up with a mother and father who are both deaf.

Teagan’s mother, Amber McCall, captured the moment on video.

“It was so sweet,” she said. “Oh my god, he was just so happy, and he wasn’t left out. He got included, and he had a conversation with a fireman.”

The exchange was special for Rheault, too.

“He made my day, and I made his day, I guess,” he said. “So, we both walked away very happy.”

Great Example Of First Responders Doing Positive Things

MFD Lt. Mike Rheault Going Above And Beyond With Tegan On Thursday Lt. Rheault responded to a building for a fire alarm activation. He had an interaction with Tegan using sign language to have a conversation. To say he made Teagan's day is an understatement. This is one example of positive things First Responders do EVERY DAY. Thanks to Amy his mother for letting us provide the video he shared. Thank you City of Manchester, NH Fire Department Manchester Professional Firefighters Association Professional Firefighters of Concord, NH - Local 1045

Posted by Manchester Information on Friday, February 1, 2019


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