MESA, Ariz. - Ninety-year-old Betty Lee's lifelong dream came true Thursday: A ride in a Mesa firetruck.
“I didn't know it was going to happen and it happened," said Betty Lee. "It's wonderful.”
The opportunity came when members of the Mesa Fire & Medical Department went to visit Lee on her 90th birthday. Lee had mentioned to the firefighters a story she had seen on the news about a 102-year-old woman who got to ride in a police car.
That's when the sirens went off, so to speak.
“So we proceeded to ask Mrs. Lee, 'What's something you've always wanted to do?'" said Mesa Fire Chief Mary Cameli. "She goes, 'I've always wanted to go in a firetruck.' We go, 'OK, that's easy.'"
They made it happen. It's really a gift of gratitude.
Lee and her husband have always been supporters of Mesa firefighters. Her husband Milt Lee founded the Mesa Public Safety Foundation, which helps and honors first responders.
“I like the fact they are there to help the people. They jump out of the firetruck and get to work so fast. They do a wonderful job,” said Lee.
“This is really a small way to thank them for their service,” said Fire Chief Cameli.
So what's next for Betty Lee?
“Gee whiz, it took me 90 years to get this done. I don't know what I'm going to think up,” said Lee.
Former Mesa mayor Wayne Pomeroy, 94, was also invited for the ride. He served as mayor from 1976 to 1980 and oversaw the beginning of fire department's paramedic services.