Clifton Springs firefighters welcome superfan

It would be tough to find another 13-year-old who loves firefighting as much as Joey Abt does. The bright-eyed, inquisitive, smiling young man with Down syndrome says he hopes to fight fires himself, one day.

“I love fireman, I love dispatching,” he declared on Saturday while touring the Clifton Springs Fire Department. Joey tackles his busy life with a sense of humor and all the advantages and risks that Down syndrome brings.

More advantages these days, it seems.

His goal this past summer was to visit 77 fire stations in and around his hometown of Syracuse. Some he even visited twice, and with Clifton Springs the tally is up to 39. Next up in November will be Onondaga Hill Fire Department in Onondaga County.

Joey’s Dirt Road Diary Facebook page, which documents all his travels and adventures, is followed by 2,910 — so far. It also traces his progress in collecting fire department patches from all 50 states — a goal Joey has already reached.

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