Santa’s helpers

Lake George Fire Protection District firefighters and volunteers wrapped toys for this year’s Fire Chief Association’s Toy Drive. (Photo by Marianne Mogon/The Flume)

Station one of the Lake George Fire Protection District was a Santa’s workshop as several members and volunteers became elves and wrapped presents, toys for thirteen children in their district.

Instead of their normal training and meeting Monday, Dec. 16, approximately 100-plus toys were wrapped.

This was part of the Fire Chiefs Association’s Toy Drive comprised of departments in the area, including Cripple Creek Fire District, Lake George Fire Protection District, Ute Pass Regional Health Service District, Divide Fire District, Florissant Fire Rescue, North East Teller County Fire District, Victor Fire District and Mountain Communities Fire District.

The thirteen in the Lake George district received their presents last week. Some picked them up, and a few got theirs through a special delivery by fire trucks and personnel.

Toys and monetary donations were collected through the drive, which enables children to experience a Merry Christmas. The Toy Drive began three years ago after Divide Fire District responded to an emergency response call to a family who had just moved to Divide.

“We were heartbroken for this family and decided we wanted to do more for our community than just respond to emergency situations,” said Fire Chief Chuck Buckley of Divide Fire District.

According to Buckley, the first year was 20 children, the second was 110, and this year 182 children are the recipients of the drive. Families are nominated through the schools and social services. The children are asked to put together a wish list and through the donated toys and those bought from monetary donations, the wish lists are fulfilled.

“I love it, seeing the faces of the kids,” Buckley said and added, “it’s a great way to give back to our communities with service other than emergency situations and it creates good memories for both the kids and the firefighters.”

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