Big turnout for Bulahdelah Rural Fire Brigade’s annual Santa Run

FESTIVE SPIRIT: Brigade Captain Mark Hartwell, members Jake Blanch and Meagan Terry with Santa.
FESTIVE SPIRIT: Brigade Captain Mark Hartwell, members Jake Blanch and Meagan Terry with Santa.

Swapping his sleigh for a fire truck last week, Santa Claus was escorted by volunteer members of the Bulahdelah Rural Fire Brigade as he travelled the town to spread his Christmas cheer.

Blazing sirens alerted the young and old that the jolly man in red was on his way with huge sacks of lollies in tow.

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The children flocked as Santa and his elves distributed the treats and wished them well.

Brigade Captain Mark Hartwell said the annual Santa Run is a fun family event that brings the town together.

“We are a small community and we want to show off the small-town spirit,” he said.

“The lollies given out mainly came through donations to the brigade, but we also used some of our own funds as well.”

Throughout the year, the 15 volunteer members have protected the community from countless bushfires, assisted with motor vehicle accidents, carried out reduction burns, attended training sessions and organised numerous fundraising activities.

Mr Hartwell said the skills learnt through the brigade are very useful and can be utilised in other areas.

“We have one member who got a job with the forestry because of the training he received here,” Mr Hartwell said.

For the fire season ahead, Mr Hartwell is hoping for a quiet time but said the brigade is on call 24/7 if needed.

In addition to supporting the community, the recent Santa Run highlighted the good camaraderie which exists amongst the volunteer members whose ages range from 18-85 years.

Mr Hartwell said new faces are always welcome to join.

By Daniel SAHYOUN

COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS: RFS members Jake Blanch and Meagan Terry with Santa.
COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS: RFS members Jake Blanch and Meagan Terry with Santa.

FESTIVE SPIRIT: Brigade Captain Mark Hartwell with Graham Rowell and Jake Blanch.
FESTIVE SPIRIT: Brigade Captain Mark Hartwell with Graham Rowell and Jake Blanch.

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: SANTA distributes Christmas treats to the children.
COMMUNITY SPIRIT: SANTA distributes Christmas treats to the children.

FESTIVE SPIRIT: RFS member Jake Blanch shares Christmas treats with the community.
FESTIVE SPIRIT: RFS member Jake Blanch shares Christmas treats with the community.

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