Santa Claus is not a firefighter, as far as we know, despite his red-heavy wardrobe and familiarity with chimneys. But members of the Palo Alto Fire Department do their best to channel Santa’s penchant for generosity with seasonal outreach and goodwill efforts. The PAFD demonstrates its selflessness and courage year-round, but in December it pours extra effort into helping the less fortunate. The Department helps collect and distribute toys to needy children throughout the Bay Area and raises awareness about fire prevention, having recently released its “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires” flyer, among other efforts.
The department’s mission statement is simple and admirable: “We are a professional team of men and women dedicated to safeguarding and enriching the lives of anyone, anytime, anywhere with compassion and pride.” Led by Fire Chief Eric Nickel, the Department includes 121 personnel and seven fire stations. The Department is also the emergency medical services provider for the City of Palo Alto and Stanford University.
The PAFD responds to more than 8,000 incidents per year, including numerous medical calls. “We also participate in dozens of community events (school demonstrations, station tours, fire extinguisher demos, neighborhood activities and more) every month. When we are not participating, we may be hosting a movie night, pancake breakfast or open house,” the Department states on its website.
Whether during the chill winter months or the sweltering summer, Palo Alto is in good hands with the Palo Alto Fire Department.