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'Santa' banned from fire truck

Due to safety concerns, a fire department is not allowing the Clauses to ride on their truck during a parade

By FireRescue1 Staff

HAMPTON, N.H. — A NH fire chief barred actors portraying Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus from riding on a ladder truck due to safety violations.

The Hampton Christmas Parade, which took place Saturday afternoon, usually features the couple atop a Hampton Fire Department ladder truck. However, Deputy Chief Jamie Ayotte said that allowing the Clauses to do so violates NFPA guidelines and their department's safety regulations.

Several people were upset by the department's decision, according to the Hampton-North Hampton Patch.

"I'm a little peeved," retired Fire Captain Rusty Bridle said. Bridle is in charge of the parade and said it's a shame that the tradition of the Clauses won't be upheld, even though they were allowed to ride on the ladder truck last year.

This year, Bridle said another department will allow the Clauses to ride in on their fire truck, much to the support of other town residents.

Chief Ayotte said he did not want to stir any controversy, but said that firefighters and actors in the past have died after falling from fire trucks during parades.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
John Owen John Owen Tuesday, December 04, 2012 9:14:37 AM mixed feelings about it, it is against NFPA regulations and standards, and it is unsafe, but we are getting to the point where everything is against some sort of rule. Can't have fun anymore, well one person always ruins it for everyone.
Jessica Brusseau Jessica Brusseau Tuesday, December 04, 2012 9:29:07 AM Why not harness the Clauses in? That would prevent them from falling off.
Christopher Tierney Christopher Tierney Tuesday, December 04, 2012 9:29:09 AM I would think NFPA would apply more towards normal day-to-day operations. Not a special event moving at 5MPH with rails surrounding them.
Bob Kinne Bob Kinne Tuesday, December 04, 2012 11:25:21 AM The NFPA cannot set regulations or requirements, only recommended guidelines. It falls to the individual Dept or it's governing municipality to regulate such activities. It seems as though someone is trying to cover their butts in this one.
Mark Beall Mark Beall Tuesday, December 04, 2012 12:41:42 PM So give them a safety harness and let them ride.
Tom Kelly Tom Kelly Tuesday, December 04, 2012 6:17:44 PM How is this any different from letting cheerleaders ride on apparatus during parades.......guess the idea of doing the right thing isn't an option.
Vince Cochrane Vince Cochrane Saturday, December 22, 2012 1:26:49 PM Boy Scouts are usually not allowed to ride on trailers or in the back of pickup trucks but they make an exception for parades. It is stupid not to allow Santa on top of the truck as long as the proper safety precautions are taken. The department does not want to take on the liability and wants to state it is against NFPA which is not a governing body or regulations just guidelines. They do not want to get sued.
Jerry Byrum Jerry Byrum Saturday, December 22, 2012 10:38:43 PM I would question the Chiefs comments on actors and firefighters being killed due to falling off the fire truck during parades. My department has had Santa on our Fire Truck and firefighter family on the trucks for over 50 years and never once have we had anyone fall off, be injured, or die. This boils down to a Fire Chief being an Ebinizer Scrooge. All the NFPA recommendations I have read always say (AHJ) authority having jurisdiction. Hello, that's you Mr. Fire Chief. Once you get the white helmet. It's true you really do loose your brain.
Ian Tausig Ian Tausig Sunday, December 23, 2012 12:10:36 AM But our parades only go for like a block and a half. I think that's just the law of averages working in our favor.
Mike Lambert Mike Lambert Sunday, December 23, 2012 11:09:52 AM He has his head up his ass. bet his fire fighters drink on the job.
Steve Kady Steve Kady Sunday, December 23, 2012 12:57:32 PM Hope the Chief gets a lot of coal in his undies. This Chief must want to be pc. This goes to prove that idots do make it to the top. Dumb Chief!
Phil Turner Phil Turner Sunday, December 23, 2012 7:47:32 PM Don't Blame the Fire Chief. Blame a Lawyer. Any Lawyer!
Chajka C Kevin Chajka C Kevin Monday, December 24, 2012 1:34:06 AM well strap them in you dumb shit.
Roger Prince Roger Prince Monday, January 21, 2013 5:10:42 PM THE LAWYERS OF THIS CENTURY WILL STEAL YOUR RIGHT TO BREATHE.........ROG ON THE DODGE
Chuck Wagon Chuck Wagon Friday, January 03, 2014 11:46:20 AM Can anyone offer a "legitimate" instance, where during a parade, Santa has fell off and been killed or injured? I didn't think so!

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