EAST WINDSOR: Santa works overtime at the firehouse

By Amy Batista, Special Writer
EAST WINDSOR – Santa took time out from his busy schedule to stop by a local firehouse recently where children and residents were able to visit with the man in the red suit.
“We have been doing it for 10 years to provide a community event where the children and their families can see Santa Claus and spread the spirit of the season,” said East Windsor Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Chief James McCann.
The fire company hosted the Santa Open House at the firehouse at 51 One Mile Road on Dec. 12. Around 500 people attended the event, according to officials.
“We love seeing the enthusiasm from the parents and the wide-eyed expression of the children as they meet Santa and climb on our trucks,” said fire company President Jack Israel. “We love creating a positive impression and displaying our commitment to our community.”
Residents were invited to come visit and take photos with Santa, who was sitting in a chair that was situated in front of the department’s tanker truck, which was situated inside the firehouse bays along with a decorated Christmas tree next to him. The rest of the fire apparatus were pulled just outside the firehouse bays where residents were able to view it and ask questions. Children were allowed to climb in and out of them.
“Our goal is to have the community visit our fire company, our members and to provide safety materials,” said Mr. Israel.
A table of fire safety materials including brochures and coloring books and plastic helmets were handed out to the children as residents entered the firehouse. Refreshments including hot dogs, cookies, soda, juice boxes were served. Mr. Israel said donations were made by Shoprite and McCaffrey’s.
“We are a strictly volunteer fire company operating 24/7,” he said. “We do not get paid and we depend on the generosity of the community to continue our ability to serve them.”
He said creating a partnership between the fire company and the community is the goal. “We rely on their support and hope that they can rely on us,” he said.
Chief McCann said the highlight for him was the smile on the face of each child that visited Santa.