FULTON, NY – The Fulton Fire Department honored five-year-old Brooklyn “Danger Girl” Hall as an honorary firefighter with a swearing-in ceremony held on Thursday (Feb 21.)
Hall was diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma, a rare type of brain cancer occurring in only eight to 10 percent of childhood brain tumors in 2017 at then just three-years-old.
Several surgeries and extensive treatment became the new normal for the Hall family over the course of the following year.
In December of 2018, optimism could not overpower the ugly reality that is cancer.
“We received her terminal prognosis a week before Christmas. They found 3 new tumors that propagated since May, and told us this was probably our last Christmas,” Brooklyn’s mother, Meghan Hall said.
Meghan and her husband, Brooklyn’s father, Kurt Hall, quickly began putting together a bucket list for young Brooklyn Danger Marie Hall. Almost immediately, a Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World was underway.
Danger Girl’s story has been shared on social media and has reached the hearts of countless people, including Fulton Fire Chief David Eiffe.
“I had seen the story last weekend on Facebook about little Brooklyn and when I learned that she was a (Fulton) city resident, I knew we just had to do something,” Chief Eiffe said.
Reaching out to the Hall family, plans were made within 24 hours to arrange a tour of the Fulton Fire Department and a much anticipated ride in a fire truck.
But when the Hall family arrived on Thursday, they were in for quite a shock.
“Wanting to make her day here special I spoke with the Police Chief, Highway Commissioner and the Mayor and we pulled together a really special day that I hope she will never forget. Her Mom and Dad thought she was just coming here to get a tour of the station and a ride in the fire truck but we couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to honor her than to make her one of us. We are grateful for her presence and we admire her bravery,” Chief Eiffe said.
The day started with an official swearing-in ceremony where a lively and charismatic young Brooklyn took an oath by the Honorable Judge Hawthorne to become Fulton’s newest firefighter under her preferred name of the day – Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (VIDEO below)
The fun didn’t stop there. Outside Fulton Fire Department awaited a fire truck, police patrol vehicle, and city plow truck for Brooklyn, her brother Logan, and her friends Sam and Jillian Stadelmeyer to check out.
A police escort led young Brooklyn and her family and friends on a fire truck ride around the city. Brooklyn enjoyed the ride so much, she didn’t want it to end.
She was pleasantly distracted from the end of the ride with a tour of the fire department including a live example of FFD’s firefighter Jack and firefighter Kevin using the fire pole.
“Today we were blown away by the City of Fulton. When the Chief invited us down to see the trucks, I thought that was cool! But every detail they planned into our visit was so thoughtful and we are just so thankful,” Meghan Hall said.
Fulton Fire Chief David Eiffe said he was honored to provide Brooklyn and her family with a day he hopes they will never forget.
“It is always said that firefighters are known for their bravery, when in fact the true meaning of being brave, is what Brooklyn Danger does on a daily basis. She faces the challenges and the difficulties of a disease that many of us do not even understand,” Eiffe said. “Watching Brooklyn taking the oath as an honorary City of Fulton Firefighter is a special moment that we will always remember. She is the bravest person that wears our badge today that is for sure.”
The Hall family will continue with their plans to check off every memorable item of Brooklyn’s bucket list including things typical to a five-year-old, with the list constantly evolving based on Brooklyn’s ability.
One important staple on the list is Danger Girl’s upcoming prom.
Brooklyn, her family, friends, loved ones, and those who wish to celebrate alongside her will pack the Downtown Syracuse Marriott Ballroom on Sunday, March 10 from 1-5 p.m.
“We want to celebrate life and every girl needs a prom,” Meghan Hall said.
Ultimately, Danger Girl and the Hall family live each day with the hope that despite the trauma surrounding their story, they can honor Brooklyn by inspiring others.
“Life is short for all of us. We are all on borrowed time. I hope Brooklyn can help people realize what a miracle it is to be living, and that others will be inspired to pursue their own bucket lists. After all, tomorrow is not promised,” Meghan Hall said. “Death is inevitable for all of us. And no one can put a time limit on a person. Miracles happen every day, and I believe Brooklyn IS one.”