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Fire, emergency workers deliver toys

December 16, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- It wasn't quite a white Christmas, more a dreary Tuesday, as area volunteer firefighters and emergency workers played Santa Claus.

Representatives from several fire and emergency services companies arrived Tuesday morning at the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association office with bags in hand to pick up toys for distribution in their areas.

"Fire and ambulance are only seen during the bad times," said Glenn Fishack, president of the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.

"We hope it makes some kids happy," Fishack said as he stood in the "Santa room" at the association's office. Slinkys were stacked on top of the television and Play-Doh sets were piled near the door next to a box full of stuffed animals with a Tigger on top.


Mr. Potato Head joined Spider-Man and Transformers toys on a long table, and boxes of Barbies were heaped on a chair. Board games, including several sets of Chutes and Ladders and Candyland, were amassed in a corner.

"I don't think people in Washington County realize how much people are hurting," Fishack said.

The toys were donated by Hamilton Nissan for distribution by the volunteer association.

Miss Washington County Fire Prevention Jennifer Barciz, 22, planned to take some of the toys to the Washington County Department of Social Services.

"Anything I can do to put a smile on their faces at Christmas," she said. "Someone is thinking about them."

Chief Jason Eckstine of the Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Department said his department takes "Santa drives" through the neighborhoods they serve. Someone dressed as Santa rides one of the ladder trucks and the firefighters hand out candy canes, he said. This year, if they run into a needy family, the toys will help "make Christmas a little better."

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