Watch Nonverbal Boy’s Delight When Firefighter Stops to Chat With Him in Sign Language

GNN: This firefighter’s conversation with Tegan McCall may have only been about one minute long, but its emotional impact will last a lifetime.

Firefighter Lt. Mike Rheault was responding to a call at an apartment building in Manchester, New Hampshire last month when three floors of smoke alarms all started going off at once.

As Rheault was checking out the building, he saw a young boy with cerebral palsy standing in the doorway of an apartment.

When Rheault noticed that the nonverbal youngster “looked like he wanted to say something,” the firefighter intuitively asked Tegan if he knew sign language.

Rheault then proceeded to greet the boy in American Sign Language and introduce himself as Mike.

“And Tegan is just standing there like, ‘Oh my God, someone is signing to me,’” Tegan’s mother Amy told WMUR.



Amy quickly pulled out her phone and started recording the heartwarming exchange. After Tegan signed his own name, Rheault taught him the sign for “fireman” and gave the boy a high-five before leaving the hallway.

15 Comments on Watch Nonverbal Boy’s Delight When Firefighter Stops to Chat With Him in Sign Language

  1. You know that the mom of that little guy has had a lot of heartbreak in the last few years. That fireman gave both the mom and her son a heck of a gift just by acknowledging them and giving the kid a moment of his time.

  2. What a nice story and what a nice guy to take the time to chat with this boy. Not many guys around that would do that.

  3. You ever notice how few deaf bank robbers there are?

    I figure it’s because they need both hands to talk to the teller or something like that.

  4. Thanks Joe great post.

    @ Aaron – you are a DICK head. Been meaning to tell you.

    Ready at 10 paces each eh?


  5. …and don’t get me started on deaf get away drivers. You tell the guy to signal when the cops show up and there he is signing every damn bird call he knows while our backs are turned….

  6. ghost, don’t thank me. I send BFH a few stories and in his better wisdom he picks what works. This story makes me appreciate the hardships moms and dads deal with when they have children with disabilities. My heart goes out to them. That poor mom probably thinks about that 1 minute in time and will remember it forever. As well as the little boy will.

  7. Hellen Keller once said, ¨love is not something you see or hear, it is something you feel¨ but of course she said it like this ¨fbfebsovbforbw urbwbwvorb¨


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