Because of the CO­VID-19 outbreak, many birthday parties and gatherings have been canceled to promote social distancing.

For Lukas Brackett of Elizabethtown, plans to host a sleepover at his home and spend a day at Sky’s the Limit Indoor Trampoline & Adventure Park in Elizabethtown to celebrate his ninth birthday were foiled.

However, with help from Radcliff police and fire personnel, Lukas’ ninth birthday still turned out to be a memorable one. Fire trucks and police cars arrived outside of Lukas’ home Wednesday morning, blasting their sirens and wishing him a happy birthday over their public address systems.

“When I saw the fire truck I was like ‘whoa,’” Lukas said.

The visit was part of the “Radcliff Birthday Brigade” initiative for local elementary-school students, which continues through April 20.

Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall announced the initiative Sunday on Facebook after discussing ways to celebrate local children’s birthdays amid the COVID-19 pandemic with police chief Jeff Cross and fire chief Jamie Henderson.

Through the initiative, children are given “shout-outs” outside of their homes, which include sirens, lights, waving and messages over police public address systems.

Lukas’ parents, Mel­issa and Michael Brackett, reached out to Duvall after viewing his Facebook announcement and hearing about the initiative through Lukas’ teacher at New Highland Elementary.

Michael said the visit proved to be a great surprise for his son.

“Everything has been closed down, so now for him to be able to see this, I’m overjoyed,” he said.

Melissa echoed this sentiment.

“It’s really cool since we have to celebrate indoors this year,” she said.

The “brigade” visited North Park Elementary student Colton Midkiff on Wednesday. Colton turned 5 on March 20.

Colton’s mother, DeShauna, said she was happy her son was wished a happy birthday amid school closures.

“He was excited and I was happy to see him excited,” she said.

Henderson said it has been a pleasure to help youth through the initiative.

“It’s the smiles and making them happy while they’re quarantined like this,” he said.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acritchelow@thenewsenterprise.com.

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