HILLSIDE, NJ - Nicholas Vicidomini, a young boy with autism, has been named an honorary fireman with the Hillside Fire Department. Vicidomini was recently asked to leave Christ the King Church in Hillside because he was playing and making noise.
Upon hearing the story, Hillside Councilman George Cook said he felt bad for the family and soon realized he worked with someone with the same last name. Cook reached out to his co-worker and discovered that he was the boy's uncle.
"I asked him if he could ask the family if it was okay to make Nicholas an honorary fireman so that there would be positive memories of Hillside for him and his family," said Cook. "The uncle put me in contact with the father who said, 'yes'."
Cook then contacted Captain Phil Sousa of the Hillside Fire Department.
"Captain Sousa immediately said yes to the idea and even offered to buy Nicholas a little fireman’s uniform," said Cook.
The entire Fire Department and union stepped in to make it a special day for Nicholas, Cook said.
On Wednesday, September 2, they made Nicholas an honorary fireman.
"The smile on Nicholas’s face was priceless and that made it all worth it. I just wanted the family to have a pleasant memory of Hillside and see the goodness and great hearts that we have here in town," said Cook.