Holmes becomes honorary fireman
■ IVFD Fun Day adds more ‘fun’ this year. PAGE 1.
By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
For a very long time Dustin Holmes has wanted to be a fireman. That wish came true Monday night when the youth was named an honorary member of the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department.
Dustin has Neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that disturbs cell growth in the nervous system.
He has nodules or tumors on nerve tissue throughout his body that cause intense pain. Walking is getting more painful.
Rick Elliott, whose son Brian was a childhood friend of Holmes’ older brother Mason, is a member of IVFD. As such, he saw a lot of Dustin.
“At least 10 years ago or better Dustin asked what it took” to be a firefighter, Elliott said.
He was told a fireman had to be 18 years old.
“Every time he sees me since then he says ‘I’m 14 and have four more years,’” Elliott laughed. “He’s been counting the days.”
Elliott said he contacted Dustin’s grandmother, Kayla Holmes, to see if IVFD could do something special for Dustin’s 18th birthday.
The result was Monday night’s unanimous vote to let Dustin become an honorary member of IVFD. He was given an official shirt, took a ride on a city pumper truck and led the department in the creed before the meeting.
Elliott said Dustin will at times help wash the fire trucks, ride on the IVFD float in the Chase County Fair parade and do “skills we do not necessarily use related to fire fighting.”
He will also be a special guest at the IVFD Fun Day barbecue Saturday at 6 p.m. The barbecue, a new event at this year’s Fun Day, will be held at the IVFD hall on Broadway.
After the meeting Monday his grandmother said Dustin commented, “I have a job now. I’m so excited I finally have a job!”