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Henderson Fire Department honors 'station mom'

Posted: 11:22 PM, Apr 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-21 17:26:43-04

An 87-year-old Henderson woman is the city's newest firefighter, although she isn't planning to respond to any calls.

Roma Johnson was awarded the Henderson Fire Department's first honorary firefighter badge this week.

"Roma Johnson just represents everything that is good about our community," Fire Chief Shawn White said after presenting the 87-year-old with the badge.

Johnson is considered the station mom at station 81, near College and Horizon drives, because of her weekly trips to deliver homemade cakes and other goodies.

She can still tell you the date she delivered her first cake, July 2, 1999.

"He said, "What's this for?' I said Jesus put it on my heart to do this," Johnson said of the first delivery.

The trips haven't stopped, as evidenced by the fact that a couple dozen firefighters were in the audience as she was honored by the city council.

"This is just a small portion of the men and women you have affected," White said as the group applauded.

Johnson keeps close track of which platoon gets which cakes each week as delivers them along with other treats to keep the heroes well fed.

"When I bring a cake, I bring other things to go with it.  New year's I bring them a big tray of meats and cheeses," Johnson said.

The firefighters have shown their appreciation in return as well.

Johnson has her own reserved parking spot in the parking lot, which they surprised her with early on in the tradition after she asked if she could pull in to avoid parking on the busy road.

The crew at station 81 have also helped Johnson in good times and bad, responding to medical calls when her husband was ill and eventually attending his funeral in uniform to show support for their "station mom"

Johnson says those acts are very special to her, as well as the special treats the firefighters give her in return.

"They bring me bouquets of flowers, my shingles blow off I call them and they come and put them back on," Johnson said.

The lifelong Dodger fan also cherishes the autographed baseball signed by Vin Scully, Tommy Lasorda, and other greats as well as other Dodger memorabilia the firefighters have given her over the years.

While both the firefighters and Johnson have considered themselves family for years, Johnson jokes "it is now official."