While most firefighters celebrate the holidays with their families and loved ones, many spend the holiday season on call at the Fire Station. In an effort to make the holidays special for them, Mayor Teresa Jacobs began the Adopt a Fire Station program in 2012 so that neighborhood groups, businesses, and non-profits could recognize and give back to their local Fire Stations during the holidays. Through Adopt a Fire Station, groups can show their appreciation by helping provide holiday meals and volunteering their time at their local Fire Station.
This is the sixth year for this event. In 2016, 72 groups of families, organizations, businesses and schools in Orange County adopted all 41 stations. These groups hosted special activities in November and December for their assigned Fire Stations, including bringing holiday meals and treats and volunteering their time.
To register and participate, contact Tiana Davis of the Orange County Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization Division at 407-836-5531 or Tiana.Davis@ocfl.net. The Adopt a Fire Station sign up began on Oct. 23 and will last through Dec. 15, 2017, with adoption dates having started on Nov. 1, 2017 lasting through Jan. 1, 2018.
[Man waving from a truck]
Narrator>> Hey! have you adopted your fire station this year?
[Mayor Jacobs from a podium inside a fire station.]
Mayor Jacobs>> I want to ask all the citizens in Orange County to remember that while we're enjoying our family and our friends, that many of our firefighters our men and women that devote their lives to protecting your lives, they'll be right here.
[Fire chief speaking from inside the fire station]
Fire Chief>> You know a lot of times we see people at their most desperate times and we don't really get to relate to them on a normal basis so what it really does is it takes our community fire stations, opens us up, and really gives us better contact with the community we serve on a daily basis.
[Clips of fire trucks moving and firefighters mingling]
Narrator>> In 2012 many Orange County neighborhood businesses and organizations adopted their local fire station and showed their appreciation by hosting an activity specifically for the station.
[Mayor Jacobs speaking to firefighters]
Woman>> This program was started by mayor Jacobs it was an initiative to encourage citizens to go out and do something great for our fire stations and for our firefighters.
[Mayor Jacobs being interviewed inside a fire station. Clips of firefighters climbing into their truck play in the background]
Mayor Jacobs>> We have such great teams here and they work so hard and they really should be the fabric of our community and some of our communities they really are, our neighborhoods know the folks that are out there protecting them, they come in they bring them, you know, deserts and drop by it Thanksgiving and Christmas and and some of our fire stations, not so much. So what we wanted to do was we wanted to encourage all of our communities across Orange County. Find the closest fire station to your house organize something with your neighbors or just your family whether it's dropping by, like I said, to bring dessert and coffee or bringing a holiday meal or if you like singing and you know drop by and do a Christmas carol event; So many different ways that you can say thank you to our firefighters.
[Woman interviewed inside the fire station]
Woman>> The idea is we want people to connect, we want them to come together and think of something for the fire station as a group because it's about community connection.
[Clips from inside the station showing the crowd in attendance]
Narrator>> As you gather with your family and friends to celebrate the holidays don't forget to come together as a community and show appreciation to the men and women in uniform dedicated to keeping you safe.
[Woman interviewed inside the fire station]
Woman>> If you want to know more about what stations are open for adoption, you can contact our office at 407-836-5606 and you can speak to Tiana Davis and she will get you in touch with the appropriate fire station near you and you can be as creative as you want to be.
[Mayor Jacobs being interviewed inside a fire station. Firefighters waving goodbye.]
Mayor Jacobs>> Find a reason to drop by a fire station and say thank you to the men and women who often time at Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah and those holidays that you and I get to spend with our family, those hard-working men and women that are here, on duty looking out for us take- just a few minutes out to say "thank you".
Orange County Fire Stations also serve as drop-off locations for the Holiday Heroes Toy Drive. Learn how you can become a holiday hero by visiting www.ocfl.net/holidayheroes.