HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - When firefighters leave on a call, they expect a matter of life and death.
Richard Hauser, a longtime firefighter, expects that too, even if the pink fire truck he drives never fights a fire.
"We chose what we know and we know fire trucks," he said. "We know how people feel when they show up."
The pink fire truck parked at Station 42 has gone on 20 trips to hospitals and homes since it joined the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue squads a year and a half ago.
Firefighters wear entirely pink gear and volunteer their time to visit cancer patients across Tampa Bay, just like Richard, who's wife, Laura, was diagnosed with colon cancer 5 years ago.
A pink fire truck showed up at their house, and Richard decided to bring one to Tampa Bay and keep spreading the surprises.
It's one of only 4 pink fire trucks in the state. There are only 60 in the entire country.
"The nausea that comes with chemotherapy. The fatigue that comes with it," he explained. "The twinkle in people's eyes who felt terrible. And I knew how they felt, because my wife, I see that look every two weeks."
Thursday morning, the Richard rolled the truck into Wesley Chapel Elementary School's parking lot. Laura works in the school library with students who are mostly unaware of her illness.
"I dont think a lot of them know," she said. "The hard days are exhaustion and nausea."
On those days, some ask if she's OK. Laura only answers the questions they ask.
"Kids usually know what they can handle," she said.
Students and faculty affected by cancer signed the truck, a moving message that they're not alone, and not the first.
"But hopefully, they'll get closer to being the last," Richard said.
For more information on how to request a visit from the pink fire truck visit:
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