Firefighters deliver gifts for Santa

THREE RIVERS — Members of the Three Rivers Fire Department and Fabius-Park Fire Department delivered gifts Friday, Dec. 23 as part of the “Firefighters for Santa” program.
TRFD Fire Chief Carl Holcomb said Friday marked the 10th straight year and 14th total year that members of the TRFD have delivered gifts and necessities to local children in need. The program provided 22 families with gifts in 2006, then nearly 40 families received presents in 2009 and the fire department delivered toys to over 70 families Friday.
Holcomb said the program has grown so much in recent years that it wouldn’t be possible without the Three Rivers (Station 2) and Fabius-Park (Station 3) fire departments combining their efforts, as they have over the past three years.
“It’s been important for our community for a long time, that’s why firefighters in this community, both Station 2 and 3 firefighters have taken it upon themselves (to deliver gifts),” Holcomb said.
“To be perfectly honest with you, it’s grown to the point where no one organization we feel can do it justice. So Station 3 jumped up and said ‘Hey, we’re all in.’ Without Station 3 we couldn’t do this, there’s just no way because the need is just so great in our community, obviously we had to throw more man power and volunteers at it.”
Holcomb attributes the growth of “Firefighters for Santa” to the community’s willingness to give more every year.
“And make no mistake; everybody in this community is involved in this,” he said. “We put boxes all over the community; all the schools have boxes in them. Kids would bring toys to school wrapped for this event. So again, we’re the leg work people but this couldn’t happen without the citizens out there donating monetarily and gifts.”
In addition to toys, the fire department also gave every family a smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. TRFD Lt./Paramedic Dave Cramton said the fire department paid for the carbon monoxide detectors with money it received after winning a fire prevention award in 2015 through the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center worth $500, $325 from the Three Rivers Area Community Foundation and an additional donation from Triple Creek Convenience.  
“(Carbon monoxide) is something we really should be worried about because you never know it’s there,” Cramton said. “So that’s why we came up with this idea. We’re going be at these people’s houses anyway, they’re all our clients, so we wanted to get that stuff out there.
“Our main goal is prevention, a fire department doesn’t want to have to fight fires every single day, we want to prevent them, same thing on the medical side. So by having something that can give an early warning sign, it just increases the health and the safety of our community.”

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