Firefighters play Santa

Alabaster Fire Department’s Station 3 resembled Santa’s workshop on Christmas Eve morning, thanks to the efforts of firefighters from Alabaster Firefighters Association Local 4142.

Children in 11 Alabaster families will enjoy a Merry Christmas, the result of a toy drive that netted more than $3,500 in donations.

“We must have 15 bikes at Station 3,” said Lt. Eric Marcus. “It’s the neatest thing.”

Firefighters loaded the toys and presents in the back of several pick-up trucks and gathered in the parking lot at Colonial Promenade before beginning delivery to families Wednesday morning.

Firefighters gave of their own funds, as well as collected donations from others. In addition, Alabaster Fire Chief Frank Matherson mandated that the typical gift exchange between firefighters be canceled this year, with the money going instead to the toy drive.

This year’s effort is the first formal toy drive for the department. However, giving at Christmas time is nothing new for the firefighters’ association, which in the past hosted a meal for the community on Christmas Eve and sponsored families.

The firefighters’ association garnered much assistance with the toy drive from fire department’s chiefs and day employees.

Marcus, who spearheaded the toy drive, was assisted with the Christmas Eve deliveries by firefighters Ched Burton, Jim Golden, Andy Reid, Jamada Green and Andy Garrett.