‘It Made Me Cry’: Firefighter Uses Sign Language to Communicate with Nonverbal Boy

Here's a good-news story that deserves wide attention — and it wasn't the first time this brave individual helped others this way

A firefighter in Manchester, New Hampshire, has received praise after he was seen using American Sign Language to communicate with a nonverbal boy.

On Thursday, Lt. Mike Rheault and other firefighters with the Manchester Fire Department responded to call at the apartment building where Amy McCall lives with her young son, Tegan, who suffers from cerebral palsy and doesn’t speak.

At one point, Rheault saw Tegan standing in the hallway, and said the boy “looked at me like he wanted to say something, but wasn’t being verbal,” Rheault told WMUR-9, adding separately to Boston 25 News he could tell the young boy was reading his lips “a lot” when Rheault attempted to speak to him.

That’s when Rheault decided to use sign language.

The firefighter said he learned how to sign because both his mother and father are deaf, Boston 25 News reported.

The outlet also said this wasn’t the first time he’d used sign language on the job.

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“I said, ‘Hey, how are you?’ And he kind of smiled at me,” Rheault said. “And I said, ‘My name is Mike.'”

“And I said, ‘What’s your name?’ And he said, ‘My name is Tegan,'” Rheault continued.

“And I said, ‘Oh, it’s nice to meet you.'”

During the exchange, Rheault also taught Tegan how to say the word “fireman” in sign language, according to Boston 25 News.

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The boy’s mother was touched by the brief encounter, telling WMUR-9 that she will not forget the sweet exchange any time soon.

“It made me cry after I came back inside,” McCall said.

“Tegan is just thrilled.”

As of Saturday afternoon, the video she shared of the encounter had more than 50,000 views.

Rheault also gave Tegan a fire chief hat, which the boy is seen happily wearing in a photo McCall posted to Twitter.

As of Saturday afternoon, the video she shared of the encounter had more than 50,000 views.

Madeline Farber is a reporter for Fox News. This Fox News piece is used by permission.

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