POUGHKEEPSIE – Immune to the single-digit air temperature, Santa and his firefighter elves visited five families on Christmas Eve morning to bring presents to the children. The presents were wrapped by members of the Poughkeepsie Fire Department and their friends at Mahoney’s Steak House on Thursday night in preparation for Saturday’s deliveries.
Several members of the department joined Santa and Mayor Rob Rolison at the Clover Street firehouse early Saturday morning to load the gifts on the rescue rig. Poughkeepsie Fire Department Captain Steve Bauer brought his young sons to assist in the annual tradition.
Once the rig was loaded, Lieutenant Paul Bucher and his daughter, accompanied by Santa departed station 1 on their way to the first stop on Hudson Avenue on the other side of town. Santa was followed by Captain Bauer and his boys in a pickup, and firefighters on Engine 1.
Mayor Rolison, participating in the cheer-spreading event for his last time as the mayor said, “Our city has truly amazing first responders. Both the fire and police department members are constantly helping our residents and it’s heartwarming.” Rolison was elected to the New York State Senate in November and will take his new seat on January 1, 2023. Current City Administrator Marc Nelson will become Poughkeepsie’s mayor in January.
“Our union firefighters, with the assistance of Baroni Recycling, purchased the gifts for the five families to make their Christmas a little brighter,” said Poughkeepsie firefighter and IAFF Local 596 President Nick Bucher. “We enjoy being a part of this community and help when we can.”