Ryan Glick is accustomed to whipping up dinner for his battalion at Sterling Heights’ Fire Station No. 2, but on Nov. 1, the firefighter/ paramedic had a special order to prepare.
“The young lady requested cheeseburgers,” he announced, shuffling pans of French fries and tater tots in the oven.
The “young lady” receiving a dinner at the firehouse was 6-year-old Aaliyah McGee, the grand prize winner in a coloring contest held during the Fire Department’s Oct. 14 open house.
Stephanie Dickerson said her daughter, a first-grader at Jack Harvey Elementary, spent four hours coloring the image of a firefighter in full turnout gear to ensure perfection.
“It was a big to-do at our house,” laughed Dickerson.
For her reward, McGee received transport to and from Fire Station No. 2 aboard a fire engine — which was “bumpy,” she declared with a smile — plus dinner with the firefighters on duty and interim Fire Chief Chris Martin.
Martin joked that he asked McGee what her favorite meal was, at the risk of it being something elaborate that the firefighters would have to be persuaded to make. But for Glick, who’s become the station’s default cook over the years, cheeseburgers were a cinch.
Glick didn’t just grill up patties and slap them on a bun; he went all out, laying out a buffet that included multiple types of cheese and buns, onions, bacon, lettuce and other trimmings. As sides, he served up two types of French fries, tater tots, cole slaw and baked beans, plus brownies and pineapple upside-down cake for dessert.
Perched at the head of the station’s long dining table, McGee shyly nibbled at a piece of bacon and gave a toothy grin as the firefighters tried to coax her into conversation.
“You know how hard it is to get dinner with the chief?” one joked. “Ask his wife and son.”
The Fire Department has donated dinner with the firefighters in the past as a prize for charity events, but this is the first time they’ve given it out in conjunction with a coloring contest, said Martin.
Martin said they plan to conduct the contest again in the future.