Jeremy Bradshaw is the Chilmark fire chief. Recently, he added birthday bandwagon to his list of responsibilities.

“A couple of weeks ago a friend had a son with a birthday so I went by with the lights and sirens going and did a parade for him outside his house,” Mr. Bradshaw said.

Mr. Bradshaw was so taken with the experience, the look of surprise and joy on the child’s face, that he checked in with Katie Carroll to see if she knew of other kids in town who were having birthdays during the coronavirus pandemic, stuck inside with only an online Zoom celebration on the horizon.

“She’s the ringleader and sends me a list,” he said. “I think I’ve done about 10 birthdays so far.”

A police cruiser accompanies Mr. Bradshaw and between that and the fire truck, the sounds of sirens fill the streets.

“We have some helium tanks left over from the chief’s retirement party so we have balloons too,” Mr. Bradshaw said.

But it’s not only kids who get the royal birthday treatment.

“Last weekend we surprised Ralph Sherman. He turned 88. His wife and best friend died not long ago and so I wanted to cheer him up and make him smile a bit.”

“It works out great,” Mr. Bradshaw added. “Everyone gets such a kick out of it.”

The fire chief does too.

“We’ve been busy with the Covid-stuff and so it’s been a bit crazy here. This breaks it up. The kids are so fun.”

— Bill Eville