(April 10, 2020) An Ocean Pines teenager received a surprise from the local fire department when her mother arranged to have a fire truck drive up to their house for her birthday on Sunday.

Mia Stubblebine’s 15th birthday was made even more special when her mother, Debbie, got in touch with Colby Phillips, asking for an opportunity to surprise her daughter for her birthday.

fire turck

Ocean Pines resident Mia Stubblebine celebrated her 15th birthday on Sunday, April 5, with a surprise visit from an Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department fire truck, driven by local firefighter and paramedic Duane Phillips.

“Everybody’s stuck in the house and I couldn’t take her anywhere to celebrate or have anyone over so I just tried to think outside the box to make her smile besides just normal gifts,” Debbie said.

Phillips and her husband, Duane, who is an Ocean City Fire Department paramedic and part-time Ocean Pines volunteer, were more than happy to help.

“[Debbie] reached out on Saturday through a Facebook message and asked if I knew anyone in Ocean Pines that would be able to help get the fire truck to come by since her daughter was in love with fire trucks,” Phillips said. “I think right now people are just looking for any type of enjoyment and I thought it was really cute. And of course, the Ocean Pines Fire Department was 100 percent on board with accommodating us doing that, which was awesome.

“After we got the approval, my husband and I went to the North Gate Fire Station, got the fire truck, and we drove down Windjammer, which is a long road,” she continued. “As we approached their house, she had balloons outside. We pulled up and my husband blared the siren … And I think we got all the neighbors out there too. It was quite fun. We also got a nice feel-good moment from that.”

Debbie knew how much her daughter loved emergency vehicles, and figured she would try and make her birthday a little more fun, all while embarrassing her good-naturedly.

“There was a little bit of me wanting to embarrass her and do something for her to remember,” Debbie said. “We’ve always liked emergency vehicles and stuff, so to have one show up and surprise her was just so much fun.”

Mia said she was definitely surprised.

“It was just a casual morning,” she said. “I opened some gifts and we were just chilling as a family. Then, all of a sudden, mom told me to go outside and then this fire truck pulls up with lights and sirens on. It was just really cool to see.

“I thought it was cool that my mom set it up and it was just so nice of her since I can’t have any friends over for my birthday,” Mia continued.

Videos and pictures were taken in front of the fire truck; Mia was not allowed inside as a safety precaution.

The day turned out to be even more of a surprise for another resident, according to Phillips.

“When we left her house, there was another little boy standing out because, of course, they see a fire truck and it was his birthday, too,” she said. “It was so cool that we got to see two people on their birthdays with a fire truck.”

Phillips was thrilled with the experience for two reasons: one, she had never ridden in the front seat of a fire truck, and two, she felt like she was part of a parade.

“This little trip I got to embarrass my husband, while she got to embarrass her daughter,” she said. “I embarrassed my husband by waving to everyone and yelling out ‘hello’ with my gloves and mask on. It was quite enjoyable.”

Duane, who was driving the truck, was more than happy to help, despite the embarrassment.

“It was a good experience,” he said. “Anytime we can put a smile on somebody’s face or do something good, that’s a good thing.

“I was thinking about it last night ... my brother [Darin] passed away a couple of months ago,” he continued. “We had so many people reach out to me and it’s something I’m never going to forget. So, if I can do something for someone else, I’m glad to do so.”

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