Sick boy named honorary firefighter

One of Indianapolis’ newest firefighters had some big plans to share with the state’s leaders Tuesday.

Jordan McLinn toured the statehouse with the president of the Professional Firefighters Union of Indiana.

Afterward, he sat down for lunch with Sen. Brent Waltz and Rep. David Frizzell to discuss important goals for all local firefighters, such as making sure each firehouse has a Dalmatian.

The statehouse visit is just the most recent adventure for Jordan, a 5-year-old southside boy who has been named an honorary firefighter recruit by the Indianapolis Fire Department. The recognition was a Christmas wish for the boy, who suffers from a form of muscular dystrophy that is often fatal.

“Right now, he’s the smartest, happiest little boy you could ever meet,” said his mother, Laura McLinn, in a letter to the Indianapolis Fire Department. “He wants a ‘job’ with the fire department now.”

Jordan was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2013, which results in progressive muscular degeneration and weakness. Though life expectancy can vary, boys who are diagnosed with the disease typically don’t reach their 20th birthday.

Laura McLinn reached out to the Indianapolis Fire Department in December to see if they could help brighten the life of her son. She asked if they could “hire” Jordan, giving him a job such as feeding the firehouse dog, shining the wheels on the fire engine, and helping arrange the boots for the firefighters.

The department was touched by McLinn’s message, and did all that they could to make his wish come true, said Rita Reith, public information officer for the Indianapolis Fire Department.

On Dec. 24, Jordan and his mom drove to Station 13 in downtown Indianapolis for his job interview. After determining that Jordan would be a good fit for the job, a letter of employment was given to Laura McLinn for him to open in his stocking Christmas Day.

Jordan’s first day of work with the fire department was Jan. 8, when he arrived at Station 13 with his parents, grandmother and cousin. He received his own set of fire gear, practiced search and rescue training and hooked a hose to the fire department’s trucks to put out a simulated blaze. When he was dispatched on a run to the Indianapolis Firefighters Museum and Historical Society, Jordan investigated a report of fire on the second floor and used his training to help rescue a woman trapped by the simulated fire.

By the end of the day, Jordan was presented with a badge and instructions from Capt. Tim Robinson during a graduation ceremony, Reith said.

Author photo
Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.