Town came to the fire brigade’s rescue

THE New Norfolk Fire Brigade was overwhelmed with donations yesterday after it made the snap decision to bring forward its annual Christmas Eve lolly run with Santa Claus. New COVID-19 restrictions within the Tasmania Fire Service were due to come into effect today, meaning the decades-old tradition must either go ahead last night or not at all.

The decision was made to push on with the event, even though much of the necessary fundraising had not been completed. Ordinarily they would have collected donations and contributions at this Saturday’s New Norfolk Market.

An announcement was made on the New Norfolk Fire Brigade’s Facebook page that the Santa Run would start at 4pm and contributions of wrapped lollies could be left at the fire station until that time. The response was immediate and overwhelming. “We nearly had to put someone on traffic duty, there were that many cars coming in,” second officer Mark Lusted said. “Members here said they received about 60-70 kg of lollies from 1-4pm,” Mr Lusted said. “Brigade chief Colin Triffitt and all members of the fire brigade thank the public for all their support.”

The following statement was published on the Facebook page later last night: “We cannot thank our community enough for their amazing support for tonight’s lolly run. Without each and every one of your donations it wouldn’t have been able to run. We were absolutely gobsmacked with the amount of donations we received in such short notice. We cannot thank each and everyone of you enough. A big shout-out to Paul and the crew at Pauly’s Pizza for their donations toward the lolly run and the donation of some amazing pizza when we finished. Unfortunately with such short notice we were unable to see every little child in New Norfolk. We are very sorry if we didn’t get to see you and your family. We did our absolute best with trying to organise the lolly run with such short notice. Most importantly MERRY CHRISTMAS to our wonderful community. We wish you a very happy and safe Christmas. THANK YOU ALL.”

Mr Lusted said the lolly run was a huge event to organise each year, from the members who were planning to do the Christmas Eve run, to those who got together at short notice and staged the event last night. The fire brigade was able to visit Corumbene Care and the New Norfolk Hospital before spending several hours doing the rounds of the town.

Businessman Paul Belcher donated lollies for the New Norfolk Fire Brigade’s Santa Run, and pizzas afterwards. Members showed him the accumulated donations received during the day.

It was later announced that the proposed restriction on lolly runs and fire brigade Christmas parties had been withdrawn, meaning the Gretna/Hamilton/Ouse run will still take place this Saturday, and the Lachlan and Maydena/National Park runs will go ahead on Christmas Eve as planned.

GRETNA FIRE BRIGADE – SATURDAY DECEMBER 18: Gretna Fire Brigade will help Santa Claus visit Glenora/Bushy Park from 11am; Macquarie Plains/ Rosegarland from noon; Gretna and surrounds from 1pm; Marked Tree Rd/Bloomfield at 2.15; Hamilton area from 3pm; and Ouse area around 4pm. Listen out for the sirens. Wait for the vehicles to stop before approaching Santa.

MAYDENA FIRE BRIGADE – CHRISTMAS EVE: Maydena Fire Brigade will take Santa around Maydena at 5pm, and then on to Fitzgerald, Tyenna and National Park. Listen out for the sirens. Wait for the vehicles to stop before approaching Santa.

LACHLAN FIRE BRIGADE – CHRISTMAS EVE: Lachlan Fire Brigade will take Santa on three loops around the district. Loop 1 (Mapley Rd/Lower Swamp Rd/Top Swamp Rd) from 10am. Loop 2 (Lachlan Rd/White Timber Rd/Hydehurst Rd, Mt Charles Rd) from 12.30pm. Loop 3 (Lachlan Rd/Moores Rd/Ironstone Gully Rd/Haney Rd) from 3.30pm. Listen out for the sirens. Wait for the vehicles to stop before approaching Santa.

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