Four-Year-Old Becomes Firefighter for a Day

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JEFFERSON CITY - A four-year-old boy became the newest honorary member of the Jefferson City Fire Department Monday morning.

Kingston McGill visited the fire department with his family and got a personal tour of the trucks the firemen use daily.

His father, Jesse McGill, said Kingston is just like any other boy his age and has loved fire trucks since his grandma gave him his first one when he was three years old.

"Kingston's a very active kid, he's kind of sensitive and emotional at the same time," McGill said. "He's a typical little boy, he loves frogs and lizards and being outside, and stuff like that." 

Unlike many children his age, Kingston was born with "vascular vein malformation."

"When Kingston was 4-6 months old, we noticed when we would change his diaper only half of his face would turn red, and I was in nursing school at the time so I didn't really know," McGill said. "We were concerned so we went to his pediatrician and talked to her and then they actually ended up sending us to St. Louis children's to get some tests done and we found out that Kingston had arterial vascular malformation and that his brain wasn't as developed like a normal child." 

Vascular vein malformation is abnormal clusters of blood vessels that happen during fetal development. Unlike many children his age, Kingston's right side of his brain is larger than his left and he has difficulty with everyday tasks like buttoning and zipping up his clothes.

The family drove more than 15 hours to visit family in Jefferson City for Christmas. McGill said even though it was a long drive, it means a lot to be near family in Missouri for this holiday season.

At the fire station, Kingston got to walk around and touch all the trucks and go inside and touch the steering wheel and pretend to drive.

After his tour, the fire department presented Kingston with a plaque to name him an honorary member of the fire department, a gold sticker and a red fire hat that had "fire chief" on the front. He also got an early Christmas present - a fire truck Lego kit.

For the final leg of his visit, Kingston got to ride around town in a fire truck with his dad. McGill said this was a great moment for Kingston and his family.

"This is just all stuff that we can keep and cherish and show him when he grows up to say that you know he's done these wonderful things and he's had all these people that you know believe in him in everything that he does," McGill said.