NC county paramedics show kids 'tricked out' rig, escort them trick-or-treating

Paramedics Lt. Lanny Bivens and Ron Huggins escorted Evan and Colton Stafford as part of GEMS' community engagement program


Gavin Stewart
Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C.

Two brothers arrived in style Thursday night into the Riverwood Plantation neighborhood in a tricked-out GEMS ambulance before a fun night of trick-or-treating.

Paramedics Lt. Lanny Bivens and Ron Huggins escorted Evan and Colton Stafford, who are developmentally delayed, and their family as part of GEMS' community engagement program, similar to a shop with a cop program.

Amanda Mulls (in pink) poses with her children, Evan Stafford, 11, Colton Stafford, 11, and Willow Mull, 14, in the back of a GEMS ambulance prior to going trick-or -treat in the Riverwood Plantaion neighborhood Halloween evening. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]
Amanda Mulls (in pink) poses with her children, Evan Stafford, 11, Colton Stafford, 11, and Willow Mull, 14, in the back of a GEMS ambulance prior to going trick-or -treat in the Riverwood Plantaion neighborhood Halloween evening. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]

"We hope that this program will help these children become more comfortable in the unlikely event they need to be transported in an ambulance for medical care," said GEMS Deputy Chief Jamie McConnell.

Orange lights and spooky d'cor filled the ambulance's interior, just as a house or automobile trunk would appear on the holiday. Amanda Mull, mother of the two boys, was moved by the smiles on her children's faces.

"This is their first time [in an ambulance]. Evan's just excited in general because he likes anything that has to do with paramedics, fire trucks or policemen," she said. "He's wanted to be a cop since he was 2."

The rain frightened many trick-or-treaters, but that didn't stop the medics from walking the brothers door-to-door through the Gastonia neighborhood to rack up an ample candy supply through the deluge of doorsteps within Riverwood Plantation.

Colton, 11, dressed as a killer pizza slice – the perfect mix of pleasant and scary.

Fastened to a stretcher, 11-year-old Evan, dressed as a character from the video game Halo, and said he hoped at some point during the night, he'd score a Kit Kat bar.

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©2019 Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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