Seymour Volunteer Fire Department acts as Santa's helpers

Seymour Volunteer Fire Department acts as Santa's helpers

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Seymour Fire Department becoming Santa's helpers on Christmas Eve Seymour Fire Department becoming Santa's helpers on Christmas Eve

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

SEYMOUR (WATE) - It's not Santa's usual ride. There are no reindeers in sight, but on Christmas Eve nearly a dozen fire trucks will make their away around Sevier and surrounding counties delivering presents.

With a red suit and a white beard, one of Santa's helpers loads into Engine 5 to deliver toys.

"Ho ho ho! How about an old toy from Santa Claus from The North Pole?" Santa's helper asked the children in a neighborhood near the Seymour Volunteer Fire Department.

It's a tradition that dates back to the 70s, or so the volunteer firefighters of Seymour believe.

"We're not exactly sure when it began, it's been around longer than any of us," said Volunteer Fire Chief Kevin Nunn.

But on the night before Christmas, generations of families wait to hear those sirens.

"We all wait for it, we had walkie talkies tonight to see who could hear the sirens, we keep our shoes on and ready to run," said Krisha Newport. 

Newport and her two daughters, Hannah and Lucy came running when the sirens of Engine 5 sounded.

Santa's helper handed each of the girls a stuffed animal.

It's a scene Newport remembers from when she was a little girl.

"To see them do what I did as a kid and have my granny here, and their grandparents, that's four generations that come out and see Santa," Newport said.

The evening takes a lot of planning back at the station. Before the firefighters dressed as Santa's helpers head out for their nearly three hour route around the county, they're briefed by Chief Nunn.

"There's going to be a lot of smiles out there tonight," Nunn said.

And for those listening over the radio, there's another special treat from Assistant Chief Al Leitch: a reading of the Christmas story.

"And she brought forth her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger," Leitch read over the radio. 

It's a busy night for these volunteer firefighters but they say it's all worth it for the smiles on the children's faces.

"It's all about the joy on their faces," Santa's helper said as he hoped into the fire truck. As he drove away he had a message for the neighborhood.

"Merry Christmas everyone!"

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