GREENBURGH, N.Y. – The Fairview Fire Department continued its time-honored tradition this week as members delivered candy canes to children in the community.
Santa Claus sat in his sleigh, pulled not by reindeer, but by a fire truck wrapped in purple, pink, blue, green and gold light bulbs. Children in the area have come to recognize that mid-December brings candy canes when they hear the siren.
"It's nice to watch all the kids come running out, seeing Santa Claus and seeing everybody smile—especially the parents too," said Volunteer Fire Captain George McChain. "They come out and thank us. Tell us how nice it is to see us coming around."
The tradition began in 1974. Over the past 37 years, the department has covered more territory and given out more candy. This year, Volunteer Fire Chief Philip Mendola estimates that they will hand out approximately 2,000 candy canes.
"We've been doing it for over 30 years," said Fairview Fire Chief Anthony LoGuidice. "As far as I know, everyone enjoys it."
The Fairview Volunteer Fire Company has 20 members who are required to be present with Santa several times during the week-long candy distribution. On any given night, 10 to 15 firefighters travel the streets with Mr. Claus, played by Fire Prevention Officer George Cordelli.
"We, obviously, do it all for the kids," said Mendola. "But when we usually get together, it's to train. It's always serious and always level-headed. But tonight's a night where everybody gets to chat, and we really form a bond. A lot of the newer guys who don't know some of the senior guys, during this particular period of time, get to form a nicer bond."
Fairview Fire will continue the distribution with the following schedule:
• Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Mayfair Acres (Mayfair Road, Buena Vista, South Chelsea)
• Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Gibson Avenue, Prospect Avenue, Juniper Hill Road, Saratoga Road, Orchard Hill, Stonewall Circle
• Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Fulton Park Apartments, Stratford Road, Woodland Hills Condominiums, Winding Ridge
• Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Worthington Road, Woodlands Avenue, Wood Avenue, Chestnut Street, Babbitt Court, Suburban Manor, continuing Orchard Hill (Station 2 area)
• Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – River Park Apartments, Edgebrook, Valimar, Granada Crescent, North Road, South Road, Hillside-Wyndover