Santa and the Firetruck: Why they'll be stationary this year


A message from Deputy Fire Chief Rob Donnan:


I wish I could give you a simple answer but it seems nothing is simple these days.

The Santa Run was first started 15 years ago with the primary goal of visiting our own members' houses.  We then saw how much people enjoyed the visits, as did entire neighborhoods where our members lived.  As the years progressed, our members started doing more and more streets in town until it took two Santas (the real deal and a helper) going out over four nights to hit every street.

The actual manpower required per Santa is about six (6) firefighters.  Santa, the driver, a helpers or two, and two safeties.  A second vehicle with a driver would escort the truck and scout down streets for people or attempt to spot kids that were missed.  With two Santas covering the town, it requires upwards of fourteen firefighters each night.  Do this for 4 nights and I think you can see what I mean.

Still we missed people.  A safety issue was raised because of the people that would run down the street after us when they realized they had just missed Santa.
Then there is the issue of time.  It's getting harder for people to volunteer the time necessary to run an organization like ours. Our primary mission of responding to emergency calls, training and maintaining the equipment is demanding more than most people can afford to give.  Each year we are required to do more but people in general have less and less time to spend.  This number is a low estimate but in 2007 our members volunteered well over 7500 hours responding to calls and training.  This number does not include all the extra time spent in meetings or doing maintenance and administrative duties.  There was some concern that we may not be able to get the participation necessary to get the job done this year.
With all that being said, some people decided to try something different.  So Santa and his helpers will be in the parking lot of Boro/Ace Hardware and everyone is invited to come say hello, get their picture taken and have a cup of hot chocolate.


The dates and times are:

Wednesday & Thursday, December 17th & 18th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm

(Rain dates Dec 22nd and 23rd)

Boro/Ace Hardware @ the corner of Middlesex & Central Avenues


We will take a good look at how things go and decide exactly what we'll do for next year.  At this point anything is possible.


We will really miss the excitement of Santa coming down the street, it was just another one of those things that makes Metuchen "special." Sorry to see that a few have decided that it needs to become a thing of the past.


Thanks for the clarification. It makes sense why it's being held at Boro. Thanks to everyone who participates and makes this a special event for the kids!

Thanks Chief for the update.

While I enjoyed the Santa run, it did seem a little wierd because there are plenty of town resident who don't celebrate Christmas and have nothing to do with Santa Claus. I felt sorry for those families and their kids, they pay taxes just like everyone else and they are left out of the celebration.

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