With the amendments to the Provincial Health Officer’s Gathering and Events Order that were made last week, Creston Fire Rescue has advised that their annual Fire Truck Christmas Caroling is scheduled to proceed on Sunday, December 20, 2020.
“We know that 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, and we have not been able to partake in community celebrations as we have in the past”, said Fire Chief Jared Riel. “As a department, we will have to make several changes to the way we structure the Fire Truck Christmas Caroling to ensure that we are following the Orders and keeping the health and safety of our firefighters and citizens as the highest priority. That being said, we are so excited to be able to provide some much needed holiday cheer for our community.”
The Creston Fire Rescue Fire Truck Christmas Caroling tradition started in 2014. Every year since then, on the last Sunday before Christmas, decorated fire trucks playing Christmas music drive through residential Creston. This year, Creston Fire Rescue plans to leave the fire hall at approximately 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 20, and will be providing real-time updates on their Facebook page, as well as posting a link to a GPS sharing app so people can track the fire truck and Santa as they move throughout the community.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are some changes that will need to be made. “As much as Santa and the Fire Department enjoy the thoughtfulness of baked goods and other holiday treats from the community, we will not be able to accept any this year”, advised Chief Riel. “We kindly ask that you please respect the physical distancing guidelines and not approach the fire trucks when you are outside to greet us. If you choose to drive and park to see the decorated trucks, please stay in your vehicles”, he added.
Some of the ‘behind the scenes’ changes that will take place this year will include the decorating of a single fire truck and command vehicle, solely by the work cohort of the Work Experience Program firefighters, while adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols. Limited personnel will be travelling in the vehicles and will be wearing masks.
“More than ever, Council appreciates the considerable efforts that our volunteer firefighters and Fire Department staff put into maintaining the highest levels of service for our community”, said Mayor Ron Toyota. “We know how much time they volunteer to successfully coordinate the Fire Truck Christmas Caroling each year, and how much our citizens enjoy seeing and hearing the decorated trucks playing Christmas music. We are so pleased that although it will be a little different, we are still able to celebrate the Christmas season together as a community”.