BISBEE — The Bisbee Fire Station on Hwy. 92 had a busy Friday morning with 911 calls and firefighter training, but thanks to volunteers who came to lend a hand, 61 boxes of food and bags of toys for Bisbee’s families and children were hauled to cars and trucks.

Firefighter/paramedic Aaron Helton, probationary firefighter/paramedic Tassia Koutsivkos, firefighter/ EMT Ty Schlagel and his friend Briana Enriquez held down the “fort” and managed to identify, find the boxes and bags, and get them loaded for those waiting in a line far shorter than the one for the Thanksgiving Food Drive.

“We filled all the requests,” Helton said. “We had 120 food boxes for Thanksgiving, so I like to think of this as a good thing if we only have 61.”

Provided by the Bisbee community, the very large and very full toy bags were filled with things to make kids smile on Christmas morning. One bag had a Fire Chief uniform; another a Texas Rosie Cowgirl outfit. Then there were the stuffed animals, games, dolls, sports balls, a box of men’s body spray, a doll house, lots of cars and many more gifts.

Food boxes held pumpkin pies, rolls, vegggies, gravies, you name it. Then, there was the stack of large turkeys. No one was going hungry.

The Department of Economic Security handled the application process to verify the families and individuals in need and passed along the ages of the children to Bisbee Fire Department Union Local 2146, the sponsor of the drive, which has gone on for more years than anyone seems to be able to recollect.

“We do this for the community,” Helton said. “It’s a big time of the year for us and a lot of fun.”

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