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Santa can't ride Springfield fire truck

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Elf Without Jingles

No Santa Claus on Fire Apparatus in Springfield, Florida

10/22/2013

Posted on FireEngineering.com

 

EXCERPT:

 

Insurance concerns will keep Santa Claus grounded this year in Springfield, Florida.

 

"The liability factor of riding around on a fire truck, throwing candy and then having the little kids trying to run out puts the City in a bad position," said Springfield Mayor Ralph Hammond. "First of all, it's illegal to ride on a fire truck while it is moving."

 

The traditional "Santa Ride," in which one Commissioner drove a fire truck around the streets of town, with Santa sitting on top of the truck and throwing candy, has been a tradition that's been around for years, but this year, the City has decreed that Santa must hear the children's Christmas wishes and hand out the candy directly at the fire station.

 

Springfield Fire Chief Michael Laramore had formally requested the change, and the Board of Fire Commissioners approved it on Monday during a workshop meeting. According to Chief Laramore, it was only a matter of time before somebody got hurt during the event --- and he was determined that that would not happen as long as he was Fire Chief.

 

"We've really been lucky through the years that no one's gotten hurt on it," Laramore explained. "But knowing what we know now, not only is the City liable, as head of the Department, I'm liable as well, and that's something that deeply concerns me."

 

SOURCE:

 

 

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Santa Hill

Frankly I'm surprised this was ever allowed.  It does not sound to be part of a parade but a solitary vehicle cruise through town. I know I had to sign quite the lengthy waiver to perch myself and Mrs. Claus on the top of a professionally built float in the Christmas Parade locally.  I'm not sure I would feel secure riding on the top of a fire truck in the first place. By the way no one is allowed to throw candy from a float in the parade.  Walkers along side the floats are allowed to hand out candy to the kids but not toss it into the road.  A few years ago we had a tragic accident in Florida where a young boy was killed during a parade while trying to retrieve a piece of candy thrown short from a float.

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Santa Marty

I love riding on antique fire trucks for parades, easy to get on and off and work the crowds when the parade gets stalled.

 

Notice yet another SPRINGFIELD!

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KKringle

It is sad indeed, but I can see the safety concerns. I have never driven on top of a fire engine, but I have rode in the front seat of an open air antique fire truck and that was fun.  In Waterville, Maine, there is an ordinance that will not allow candy to be thrown from moving vehicles in parades. Candy can be passed out to kids, but not thrown and kids. This eliminates kids running into the road too. Safety first for all those involved. As for myself, I now ride a float with a sleigh and reindeer as I enter town. I like that.

Edited by KKringle
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St.nickolasmillikan

I under stand the concerns; but come on in my home town we still do it the old fashion way farmers get there trailers dressed up and there kids throwing candy to people in the crowd and Santa is always riding on the fire truck been doing it that way for ever, I even have pics from the first parade our town ever had and there Santa is siting on the fire truck (just looked like a flat bead truck but still it said pampa fire department) and to this day almost 100 years we have never had one injury and defiantly not to our Santa's

Things like this just get under my skin soon we will not be able to have parades, football games, or even be able to go outside, life isn't ever going to be 100% safe all the time and if it was it wouldn't be worth living that's just my opinion on it.  

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Santa Johnathan

The risk of liability, political correctness, and social norm will have us all celebrating Christmas in secret and living in a box. I have been on many fire trucks, I can see the danger if you have children rushing the vehicle, but there are ways to better compromise.

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Jim Smith

Growing up in rural Western New York State, The local Volunteer Fire Dept. was my only personal contact with Santa. I have always connected Santa with firefighters. I was a volunteer firefighter before I got the calling to be Santa and I really enjoyed driving the fire truck that brought Santa to our fire hall.  We'd pick Santa up a couple of miles from the hall and go lights and siren to announce his arrival.  As president of our fire dept. I can understand why the authorities don't want Santa on top of the rig, But as Santa, I'd rather be on top, with a trusted driver  or at least in the back of the chief's pickup

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Santa TJS

I still ride the fire truck

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KKringle

I have seen Santa on a fire truck, but really I have never understood it. For me Fire trucks where always for Smokey the Bear and Sparky. 

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Morgan Putnam

I've been reading this "insurance liability concerns" junk regarding parades for years.

 

It's just infuriating.  In over 100 years of motorized vehicle history in literally tens of thousands of parades from coast to coast; has a child EVER been struck by a parade vehicle while running for candy?

 

EVER?

 

Even a quad four-runner zipping around?

 

Has a Santa ever so much as turned an ankle stepping off a fire truck oe sprained a shoulder throwing candy in a parade?

 

Surely main street must be littered with the bodies of little kids and fat men in red suits?

 

I saw a three year old girl on a big wheel (the low slung plastic trike with about 2 inches of ground clearance) last year.  Her mom, hovering and fretting nearby (I swear she was wringing her hands in  worry) had her wearing a bike helmet.

 

We've become so risk averse in this country these days that this continent would never be tamed and settled if it was up to us to do it now.

 

I am, officially, annoyed.

Edited by Morgan
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Elf Without Jingles

The risk of liability, political correctness, and social norm will have us all celebrating Christmas in secret and living in a box. I have been on many fire trucks, and I can see the danger if you have children rushing the vehicle, but there are ways to better compromise.

 

 

I find myself agreeing with Santa Johnathan on this one. More often than not in recent years, I've found myself asking: "What if one day you woke up and discovered that suddenly, everything your parents had always taught you to hold sacred was literally a lie?"

 

That's the price, I think, that often goes with political correctness. As a society, we are repeatedly taken to tasks for merely taking risks. I've lived too long not to have reminded myself of this across the 48 years I've been alive. Regardless, we must learn to hold on to the truths our parents and grandparents left to us --- because without them, you can just forget about us being designated as "human beings".

 

Something to think about........

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SCSanta

<snip>

It's just infuriating.  In over 100 years of motorized vehicle history in literally tens of thousands of parades from coast to coast; has a child EVER been struck by a parade vehicle while running for candy?

 

EVER?

<snip>

 

 

 

Actually...YES. Please read attached news stories...

 

http://www.theledger.com/article/20111202/NEWS/111209865

 

http://newsok.com/child-injured-during-bricktown-martin-luther-king-jr.-parade/article/3339135

 

http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/20061030/NEWS/610300315

 

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/boy-6-hurt-in-winkler-parade-moved-out-of-icu-219219821.html?device=mobile

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Chris Capstone

Throwing candy? No way! Kid runs out into the street to pick it up.... But no Santa on the fire truck is silly.  Just have the guy sign a wavier or use a fireman.  It's probably safer on the truck than it is on most floats, especially if the float is a trailer.

 

It seems this is not a parade, just the truck driving around which increases the safety concerns about throwing candy.  If this town had some creativity they would put a Santa house in a park or town square and have kids come to Santa. That would be more fun for the kids.  They could make some money for charity by selling the pictures.

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Morgan Putnam

 

Fair enough.

 

The parade committee decided to allow candies and beads, but there are new rules were put in place.

 

So what's wrong with this option?

 

According to the Wikipedia:

 

In 2010, there were an estimated 5,419,000 crashes, killing 32,885 and injuring 2,239,000.

 

So why not just ban cars?  It's not economically feasible given our technological development.

 

I guess there's just not a big enough economic justification for throwing candy to kids on the street.  Mars and Wether's need better lobbyists.

 

4-5 hurt children hurt and one fatality in 10's of thousands of individual instances doesn't warrant, in my opinion, the banning of the practice.

 

Googling the subject I see dozens shot at parades and dozens more injured by runaway floats vehicles before I find one kid hurt by candy throwing.

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Santa TJS

We never throw candy and when we arrive at town hall there is plenty of police and auxiliary o see everyone is safe.

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