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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Donate a Toy, Ride in a Fire Truck

The Phoenix Fire Department’s “Rides For Toys,“ event has been around for a long time.

“Basically, we’ve been doing it for 10 years, well over a decade, maybe as long as 20 years. It’s been a long time,“ said Capt. Scott Walker public information officer for the fire department.

The idea behind the campaign is for people to bring a toy to donate, which entitles their child to a free ride on a fire truck or be put up in the air on a ladder truck.

“The Rides for Toys is a way to have gifts donated so we can pass them on to needy kids so they can have some kind of Christmas,” he said. 

He said kids are thrilled at the prospect climbing aboard the equipment.

“We get them on a fire truck and take them for a ride or we put them up in the air on a ladder, they really light up. You made their day, maybe their whole year. This is equally rewarding for us,” he said. “We are moms and dads who live in the community and so that is why we try to give back to everyone.”

Once in a while, a grown up wants to ride in the fire truck, and that is fine, he said.

“We have given adults rides too. Adults can be like big kids,” Walker said.
The idea is to get people out, to donate a toy and get a ride on a fire truck.

“Police officers will also be out there and will have police cars available to explore and for rides,” he said.

He said although the economy is still struggling and the donations are down a little, people still come out for the event.

“They are still as generous as they can be,” he said.

All donations are appreciated.

“It does not have to be something big,” he said. “To some people what might seem like a small toy might be the only toy another child gets. A little goes a long way,”
Walker said it is just one of the department’s efforts throughout the year to help the needy.

Of course they could not do this without the support of the City of Phoenix.

“We appreciate the city for letting us use the fire trucks. They are owned by the citizens and the city,” he said. 

The first Rides For Toys event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on December 10 at the Ahwatukee Target store, 4734 E. Ray Road. 

Then on December 17 a Rides for Toys event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on December 17 at the Target store at 2727 W. Agua Fria.

“Come on out and let your kids enjoy the day and take a ride on a fire truck or police car,” he said.

Toys can also dropped off at any fire department in the city.

To learn more about the upcoming events or to confirm dates and times, call the fire department at 602-262-6297.

Written by Patty McCormac
South Mountain District News


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