Md. firefighters answer letters to Santa

Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department firefighters installed a special mailbox in front of the fire hall to receive letters for Santa


Brandon Glass
Cumberland Times-News, Md.

CRESAPTOWN, Md. — The Cresaptown Volunteer Fire Department set up a mailbox out in front of the fire hall to receive letters for Santa this year. And rumor has it, he even managed to carve out some time in his busy schedule to pen handwritten replies.

Two young firefighters in the company, Caroline Reid, who's set to graduate from the nursing program at Allegany College of Maryland in the spring, and Nick Miller, a recent Frostburg State University graduate, were asked to come up with an idea. They came up with the mailbox, ran it past the higher ups and secured permission to place the mailbox in early December.

Miller also serves as a career firefighter with the city of Cumberland.

"We wanted to do something for the kids of Cresaptown," Reid said. "I love it. It brings me so much joy to read and respond."

They received around 30 letters. Miller read the letters and then Reid wrote the handwritten replies.

"They just decided to do it and the neat thing about it is they're getting letters. I didn't think she would get many because it hasn't been advertised or anything — by golly, people found it," said Don Reid, secretary treasurer with the Cresaptown department and Caroline's grandfather. "The only thing we've done in years is put a few lights up across the gutter at the fire station."

This year, the company also put wreaths on all of the fire trucks and strung lights across the top of the building.

"It's good for the kids and I said, 'you're not promising them anything their parents can't give them, are you?'" Don Reid said.

Rest assured, parents, Santa only replied with well wishes and advise to be good; no promising the moon, stars and a new car.

For Don Reid, who has been in the company for over 50 years and held just about every office you can hold, it is nice to see his granddaughter carry on what has unintentionally become, all but, a firefighting family tradition.

His son is the deputy chief and his other son also serves as a firefighter. The vocation came to Reid one day when his wife was out shopping and he got a call that his 18-month-old son had stopped breathing. The fire department ambulance came and transported him to the hospital.

"On the way over, you're making deals with God and I said, 'OK, God, if he's OK, I'll join the fire department when I get back.'"

Reid arrived at the hospital to find that his son was fine and the next week he went and joined the fire department, where he's been ever since.

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(c)2020 the Cumberland Times News (Cumberland, Md.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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