WACO, Texas — The Waco Fire Department is spreading Christmas cheer this holiday season by driving a decorated fire truck through local neighborhoods and playing Christmas carols.
A team of firefighters and their wives covered an engine in the department's reserve with colored Christmas lights, wreaths and an inflatable Santa Claus.
"This is about the community," Waco Fire Lt. Keith Guillory said. :This is about the fire department reaching out to the community, the city reaching out to the community to meet that need and bring that cheer to everyone in the city."
The truck rolls out from Waco Fire Station One every night, weather permitting, around 6 p.m. It then travels up and down the streets of a pair of Waco neighborhoods spreading Christmas joy. Guillory says the department hopes to visit every neighborhood in Waco twice this holiday season.
"We get emails, phone calls, letters, requesting us to come out to each community," he said. "So our goal is to hit every part of the city of Waco."
According to Guillory, the truck can still be used if a desperate situation arises. Its hoses and tank are still fully operational, despite the lights and decorations.
The truck serves as yet another opportunity for Waco's first responders to connect with members of the communities they serve.
Jonathan Weatherwood and his family caught a glimpse of the truck in the Brookview neighborhood Sunday night. He says it is a blessing to have a fire department willing to find inventive ways to spread Christmas cheer.
"Obviously, kids love fire trucks, even without all that stuff," Weatherwood said. "So with the lights and with the music, it just added something really special, really Christmas-y."
Guillory said seeing kids and families across the city react to the glowing truck make any extra effort worth it.
"We've seen everything from jumping up and down, to big smiles, even tears of joy. People just saying we needed this with the tough time we've had in 2020," Guillory said.
If you want to catch a glimpse of the decorated fire engine, Waco Fire plans to post which neighborhood they plan to visit on the City of Waco's social media accounts every night.