Travel

Austrian Firemen Turned Their Hoses on Syrian Refugee Kids to Help Them Cool Off

"You can't put a price on a child's smile," said one of the volunteer firemen.

by Martin Peneder, Words by Hanna Herbst
Jul 22 2015, 2:40pm


All photos courtesy of Martin Peneder | FF-Feldkirchen

Speaking at a recent summit in Brussels, Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner announced her country would soon stop processing new asylum requests and that it wouldn't be accepting any of the 40,000 refugees that the EU planned on redistributing across the continent.

That doesn't mean that Austria isn't full of kind, loving people who are eager to help refugees. A group of these people, for example, work voluntarily for Feldkirchen an der Donau's fire department in Upper Austria. On Monday, when temperatures reached 96 degrees, they opened up their hoses in an attempt to cool down the 78 mostly Syrian refugees who are currently being housed in the town's vocational school.

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"We'd already brought them some clothes and food but, on Sunday, my family and I got to thinking about the weather," said Lukas Reisinger, a member of the volunteer fire department. "We wondered if they knew about the lake only two kilometers from the school. We decided we'd just bring the water to them, instead."

As for those who have been complaining that this was a waste of the town's resources, Reisinger couldn't care less. "Yes, those people exist," he said. "But you can't put a price on a child's smile."