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Calgary firefighters plan 'Drive-By Birthdays' to brighten mood during pandemic

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department is hoping to brighten the birthdays of kids and seniors whose celebrations have been scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fire Chief Steve Dongworth says firefighters have already been delivering some birthday greetings outside homes with sirens and lights blaring.

But he says the fire department has now formalized the practice through a new program called Drive-By Birthdays.

The program is open to children between the ages of four and 12 or anyone 75 and older who has a birthday.

Drive-By Birthdays can be booked online until the end of May.

Officials say the program could be extended if physical distancing measures continue to scuttle in-person celebrations.

"We'd be happy to come and sing happy birthday or greet you, make some noise outside your home and hopefully that will make a huge difference," Dongworth said Friday.

"If we have an emergency call, obviously that takes precedence and we will get to you somehow."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 3, 2020.

The Canadian Press