AUSTIN (KXAN) — A public plea on social media from the Austin Fire Department to Southwest Airlines to get a firefighter to El Paso in time for the first day of school for a fallen cadet’s son was granted.
On Friday morning, AFD posted on Southwest Airlines’ Facebook page asking for them to help with a plane ticket for Division Chief Rob Bredahl to fly to El Paso to be in place for Davian Coney’s first day of kindergarten.
Davian’s father, Devon Coney, died on June 25 on his first day of the AFD training academy. While Davian, 5, lives with his mother in El Paso, Bredahl wanted to be there on his first day of school “to represent our department and stand in for Devon.”
The AFD post said Bredahl worked closely with the cadet’s family after his death.
Because the city wouldn’t cover the cost of his plane ticket for this purpose, Bredahl was planning to drive to El Paso on Sunday and then make the return trip on Monday after sending Davian off to school.
The AFD spokesperson wrote, “I was wondering if you might consider donating a seat on one of your flights from Austin to El Paso on Sunday with a return sometime on Monday so that Chief Bredahl could get there and back without having to drive so far in such a short period of time. We’d sure appreciate the consideration!”
Within a few hours, Southwest Airlines responded and fulfilled the request. However, in a tweet Friday evening, the fire department said while the airline was “kind enough to get Chief Bredahl on a flight at the last minute and donate the seats,” AFD will be reimbursing Southwest for the cost of the ticket.
A scholarship fund has also been set up for Davian. To make a secure online contribution, visit austinfiredepartment.org and follow the instructions there. Checks and money orders made payable to the Greater Austin Crime Commission can be mailed to P.O. Box 27016, Austin, TX 78755.
Please indicate your donation is for the “Devon Coney Scholarship Fund” in either the memo line of the check/money order or the “add special instructions to the seller” box for online transactions.