Westminster Volunteer Fire Department surprises woman for Mother's Day

Westminster Fire Department presented Hill with flowers in retired boots for Mother’s Day
Westminster Fire Department presented Hill with flowers in retired boots for Mother’s Day (Kim Royer/Submitted photo)

This year, Judy Hill got a special surprise for Mother's Day from the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department. Hill, of Westminster, opened the door on Sunday to find 11 fire personnel bearing flowers in two retired fire boots.

"They had as big smiles on their faces as I had on mine," Hill said. "It's so wonderful that they're compassionate enough to do something like that. They all said, 'Happy Mother's Day.'"


Hill said she adopted the fire department after her son Christopher died on July 21, 2016, from brain cancer. Christopher was a Prince George's County firefighter.

"The day after my son's funeral, I sent a pizza to them in his name," Hill said.

Hill said she brings the firefighters a sweet treat or some kind of food on the 21st of every month. She also made Easter baskets for the children of the career staff.

"We wanted to thank her. She comes out once a month to drop off goodies and hang out," said Westminster Volunteer Fire Department Lt. Kim Royer. "She's a sweet lady, and we wanted to show her that we appreciate the support. We look forward to when to comes to visit, and she's always very upbeat."

The department took up a collection to buy Hill flowers and decided to ride over in four pieces of equipment on Mother's Day. Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician Josh Gursky and his wife, Michelle Caprarola-Gursky, designed the arrangement.

"It was exciting," Gursky said. "We thought it was a nice gesture to do something for someone who took us under her wing after losing her son. It was a good feeling to give back to someone that's given so much back to the department."

Lt. Guy Garheart, who was part of the delivery team, said he enjoys Hill's visits and hearing her talk about her son and how some of firefighters remind her of him.

"I always get my hug," Garheart said. "When it comes to one of our own, their family is our family."

Garheart said the flowers were "just a way to brighten her first Mother's Day without her son."

"It was very emotional to watch her and see how grateful she was," Garheart said. "We care about her as much as she cares about us."