NH firefighters, paramedics show up for autistic boy’s playdate

After a concerned mother posted on Facebook that her son had no one to play with, the fire and police departments turn up


MERRIMACK, N.H. — Austin Mendrala was heart-broken when no one wanted to play with him. But when the fire and police department caught wind of his mother’s plea for the community to come play, they showed up, with a fire truck and ambulance in tow.

“Austin has autism and Tourette’s syndrome, and though he does have kids that are nice to him during school, he has no friends to play with all summer,” Delilah Mendrala told WMUR

Mendrala posted on a Facebook page explaining what had happened, and that she would be at the school playground July 7 with her 11-year-old son. 

“Some people showed up — eight children and their parents and the Merrimack Police Department,” Mendrala said. “Five of their officers with two police cars. Then they said to me … ‘We have more friends coming.’”

The Merrimack Fire Department sent six firefighters and paramedics. 

“They didn’t just stop by, they stayed for a while, let all the kids check out their vehicles, even played with them on the playground!” Mendrala said. 

According to Mendrala, the special visit was made possible by two women who saw the Facebook post, one of whom’s husband is a detective with the town’s police department. 

“My son called yesterday the ‘best day ever.’ I don’t think I have ever seen him so happy,” Mendrala said. 

The Merrimack Police Department posted a photo on its Facebook page after the play date, writing that, “On behalf of our friends, thank you for taking the time out of your day to show your heart of compassion for Austin and showing him that there are still good people in this world. Heroes show themselves in many different ways. Today you are all heroes in Austin’s world.” 

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2022 EMS1. All rights reserved.