Tryon Fire Department organizes Fire Engine Parade for a young fan

Published 8:05 am Tuesday, November 22, 2022

TRYON – Sunday, November 20, at 1 p.m., fire engines of all types and other emergency vehicles paraded down Trade Street in downtown Tryon, much to the delight of kids along their route and one child, particularly Gage Howard. 


The parade was organized by the Tryon Fire Department for Gage, who has Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, commonly known as MLD, a disorder that affects the brain and central nervous system. Gage’s parents, Heather and Michael, encourage the community to pray for Gage as he continues to deal bravely with his condition.

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Gage is non-verbal, but it is still easy to see his love for the fire engines, especially their sirens.  


Chief Josh Walton, who drove the lead vehicle, was followed by engines from nearby fire departments from in and around Polk County. Engines participating in the parade hailed from Saluda, Landrum, Green Creek, Columbus, Sunny View, Mill Spring, Dana, Hendersonville, Green Valley, Etowah-Horseshoe, and Fletcher. 


Polk County Emergency Services and the Forestry Service also participated, all with lights flashing and sirens wailing.