SUBMITTED — He’s crazy about firefighters – crazy enough, even, to want to be a firefighter himself. Like many his age, four-year- old William Marion of Brewton, Alabama has dreams of what he wants to be when he grows older. William’s dream is to be a firefighter. Sadly, however, young William suffers from Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft-tissue childhood cancer.

After diagnosing and providing initial medical treatments, staff at the University of South Alabama Children’s & Women’s Hospital reached out to Make-A-Wish Alabama in hopes of helping to make William’s wish come true. With the full consent of William’s parents, Chris and Jessica Marion, Make-A-Wish Foundation and USA Children’s & Women’s sprang into action, reaching out to the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department on William’s behalf.

Over the course of a few months, MFRD firefighters met with William and family for smiles and warm hearts. On March 1, at approximately 1,035 hours, William, along with family and friends, zoomed across the city in a big, red, fire engine with additional MFRD units convoying closely behind. With lights and sirens blaring, William at the helm, guided MFRD trucks and personnel from Children’s & Women’s Hospital to
the Mobile Fire-Rescue training center on Owens Street.

Nearby, a fire began in a small, 2-story (approximately 3-feet tall), wood-frame structure burst into flames. Luckily, firefighter William Marion was on the scene and more than capable of stifling the aggressive flames. With Mobile firefighters and citizens in awe, William quickly doused the fire without any reported injuries. The structure and lives were saved thanks to the dedicated service of Firefighter for the Day William Marion.