When a school bus carrying children with special needs crashed, the local fire department raced to the scene.

Upon arrival, firefighters were met with a scene of anxious and highly nervous kids.

As the firefighters attempted to settle and soothe the children, one boy named Jojo refused to join his classmates near the ambulance.

Up stepped Andrew Kirchner, a volunteer for the Manheim Fire Department, in the US state of Pennsylvania.


He offered a visibly scared Jojo, who is autistic and nonverbal, a soft toy from the fire department and took him to a nearby field away from the chaos and drama of the bus crash.

The pair struck up an immediate bond, with Kirchner calming the young boy down and gaining his trust enough to take him back to school.

In an adorable gesture, captured by another officer, Jojo leaned in and clasped the cheeks of his new friend to rub noses, something his mum later explained was his way of saying "thank you".

Andrew Kirchner was praised for calming Jojo, right, down. Photo / Facebook
Andrew Kirchner was praised for calming Jojo, right, down. Photo / Facebook

Jojo's mum, Samantha Colon, saw the photo on the fire department social media accounts and wanted to hunt down her son's "guardian angel".

After tracking Kirchner down, she said: "My heart is so full knowing how well my son was taken care of. He is the most loving, little boy that gets very frightened when his routine is disrupted. I hope you are all as proud as I am to have such an amazing man amongst us. Thanks again Andy."

The fire department also applauded Kirchner for his work, saying they're proud of him and their crew that day.

"It is our goal to always be there for our community. To serve with the utmost amount of compassion and to treat all of our 'customers' as if they were our children, our parents, our friends.

"We're very proud of Andy's compassion showed to Jojo, as well as the rest of our crew that day."