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Zoneton Fire District prepping for Santa runs as chief battles cancer, COVID-19

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 6:16 PM EST
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BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - A 23-year Christmas tradition will continue in Bullitt County.

Monday, the Zoneton Fire Protection District began preparing for its annual Santa runs, transforming one of the department’s fire engines into a Christmas spectacular.

“This is by far my favorite event we do each year and a majority of our community [feels] the same way,” Captain Steve Corbin said. “They love it. They look forward to it. They look forward to it all year long.”

Zoneton Fire District truck decorated for Christmas
Zoneton Fire District truck decorated for Christmas
Zoneton Fire District truck decorated for Christmas 2020
Zoneton Fire District truck decorated for Christmas 2020(WAVE 3 News)

Corbin has been the brains behind the Santa runs for more than a decade, tasked with the responsibility of making each celebration bigger than the year before.

This year, however, Corbin and his team are stringing the lights with heavy hearts. In October, Fire Chief Rob Orkies was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in his neck and lymph nodes.

As of Monday, Orkies remains intubated in the hospital fighting COVID-19-induced pneumonia.

Zoneton Fire Chief Rob Orkies said he knew McGaha for about 30 years. Not only in the first...
Zoneton Fire Chief Rob Orkies said he knew McGaha for about 30 years. Not only in the first responder circle but, they were friends.(WAVE 3 News)

“He’s been like another dad, and it makes it tough because he’s usually the one on top of there,” Corbin said. “And we know that it’s something that he would definitely want to continue on.”

Corbin said the pandemic will force them to make change to the annual celebration. Santa will not leave the truck to take pictures with spectators, and the number of people aboard the engine will be reduced dramatically. Still, the light show will go on as scheduled, because Corbin said it’s what the chief would want.

“We just have to continue to pray and get him better and get him out and that way he can be up here next year,” Corbin said.

The Zoneton Santa runs begin on Dec. 3rd. See below for a full schedule:

2020 Zoneton Fire Santa Schedule The images below show our 2020 Santa visit schedule. We will be sharing much more...

Posted by Zoneton Fire Protection District on Thursday, November 12, 2020

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