Friday, December 23, 2016

Here comes Santa Claus

I love seeing Santa outside of a mall. That’s why I think it’s neat when Santa gets a ride around the neighborhood from the local fire department.

As a kid, I saw Santa ride around on a firetruck to visit people in the community. Growing up, we celebrated Christmas with family friends and exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve. Santa would stop by our friends’ house every Dec. 24 on a firetruck to visit, and the firefighters gave us candy canes.

Especially now that I’m a volunteer firefighter, I enjoy seeing various fire companies driving Santa around on their firetruck. I have reported on a few holiday events where firefighters escorted Santa and the kids got excited to see him. Adults smiled too.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Downingtown, it's been a tough day

There are days after I leave the newsroom that I hope no one asks me how my day was. How do you answer that when you reported on someone dying or their near-death experience? Before I joined the fire service, I had that thought about first-responders. What do they say when they come home to their families?

By 8 a.m. on a rainy December day in 2015 about a week before Christmas, I had received several tips about two separate incidents in Downingtown. A report of a serious two-vehicle crash early morning and a dead body found overnight. Among the people I called for information, Downingtown Mayor Josh Maxwell said the lieutenant “called to inform me of the second tragic incident in Downingtown in a 12-hour span.”