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Santa Rides Fire Apparatus Around Town, Collects Toys for Tots
Flanders Fire Company #1 & Rescue Squad has driven Santa around to see Flanders children since the 1960s. This is his second visit to town in as many weeks
By: Flanders Fire Company #1 & Rescue Squad
The Flanders Fire Company #1 and Rescue Squad escorted Santa around Flanders for his second visit this year. Santa stopped, talked with kids and posed for pictures. He also shook hands with adults as they handed firefighters and EMTs, some dressed as elves, toys for the Toys for Tots program.
"Our firehouse lobby is again full of toys that the Marines will distribute to kids who need something extra for the holidays," said Kevin Dolan, association treasurer and the firefighter who coordinates Santa's visits and the fire company's participation with the Toys for Tots program. "This, and hosting Santa's train, is just one of the many ways we can serve our neighbors. And this way is a full day of fun for all of us."
The Santa Run is a half-century tradition The Flanders Fire Company #1 and Rescue Squad. The fire company has driven Santa around town since the 1960s, when members escorted Santa from a local airport to a local service club's annual Christmas meeting. The route gradually expanded to cover more of the growing town. Today, the airport is gone – it was around St. Andrews Court and Wright Court -- and the event has evolved into one anticipated by local children.
The "Santa Run" has grown into a day-long affair with two teams helping Santa talk to kids across town. The addition of collecting toys for the U.S. Marine Corps program a second truck must follow Santa's apparatus.
People who still want to donate to the Toys for Tots program can still drop off gifts at the Flanders Firehouse, 27 Main St.
"The Flanders Fire Company #1 serves the community in a variety of different ways, not just responding to calls for help," said Fred Detoro Jr, president of the Flanders Fire Company Association, the organization that handles the business affairs of the department. "Helping Santa is a way to have some fun and put smiles on the faces of local children."
The Flanders Fire Company and Rescue Squad No. 1 provides fire protection and emergency medical services to residents and businesses in Flanders and, through mutual aid, surrounding towns. It is made up of about 45 members who receive training in fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials response, homeland security issues and emergency medical services.
The fire company, which is always looking for new members, operates a fire engine, a tower truck, a rescue/pumper, a brush-and-foam truck, three ambulances, a multiple-casualty unit and a mass decontamination unit.
In addition, the fire company offers public education services including lectures, demonstrations, training and a trailer that safely simulates a smoke-filled home. For information about membership, donations or public education, call (973) 584-7805 or visit http://www.flanders-
Doug Fenichel, APR, MICP