Christmas FDNY Style

NYTimes (reg. req. {sorry}) sent a reporter to a few firehouses in NYC this Christmas season and found holiday spirit.

“Most firehouses drag out their lights and bows in preparation for a holiday party every year, a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when the firefighters — overwhelmingly Christians, although some firehouses examined last week displayed menorahs and one featured an oversize dreidel — and their families gather and exchange gifts. The number of young firefighters in the department has grown after the wave of post-Sept. 11 retirements, and so have the numbers of young children. It is not unusual for 50 youngsters to attend a party.

“The job is so young now,” said Firefighter Joseph Sherry, 39. “There are lots of little kids.”

At an appointed time during most every firehouse party, a dispatcher announces over the loudspeakers that a big man in a red suit has been spotted flying over the area in a sleigh. At Engine Company 39 and Ladder Company 16 on the Upper East Side, Santa Claus emerges from a window above the firehouse and walks down the ladder of a fire truck. At Engine Company 163 and Ladder Company 83 on Staten Island, he slides down a fire pole as children cheer below….”

Merry Christmas Firebloggers! God Bless America.