Zoneton Fire District prepares for the 25th year of Santa Fire Truck Tour

Zoneton Fire District prepares for the 25th year of Santa Fire Truck Tour
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 1:23 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Zoneton Santa Truck is revving up to return to continue a now 25-year tradition of giving back to the community instilled by their former leaders.

Chief Rob Orkies and Major Garry Key died months apart almost two years ago and now the Zoneton Fire District wants to keep their memory alive.

The fire station is trying to balance celebrating the 25th anniversary of the event, while still honoring Orkies and Key.

Every Dec., The Zoneton Fire District decks the halls of one of its engines and turns it into Santa’s sleigh on wheels.

The tour gives firefighters a chance to interact with the community and spread joy during the holidays.

”Zoneton is very heavily into public involvement and that was something Chief Orkies pushed and Chief Moulton has picked up on that and hasn’t missed a beat,” explained Zoneton Fire District spokesperson Rich Carlson.

While Orkies and Key might be gone, Carlson said their combined 76 years of fire service will forever be felt by the community.

”These guys built the fire department and now we get a chance to show off what the fire department has become because of the hard work that they’ve done,” Carlson said.

The Santa Truck tour now serves as a way for the men and women of the department to cope with those losses.

Their two influential leaders have gone in a matter of months, and the Santa Truck’s twinkling lights are now symbols of their memory and impact.

”Our first stop will be at Chief Orkies grave site, and we will spend a little bit of time there remembering him,” shared Carlson. “And the last place we will go to is Chief Key’s home and we will spend some time remembering him and just thinking about all the things they mean to the fire department.”

The other half of this tradition, the crowds. Hundreds of people line the streets of Bullitt County to spend time with them.

“We’re very blessed to have a lot of great citizens in our community,” Carlson said. “I mean they’re always saying nice things about us and thanking us for one thing or another and it really warms our hearts.”

The firefighters are ready to take a quarter-century trip into the community they serve, while still taking the time to drive down memory lane

WAVE News asked Carlson if we could expect anything special for the 25th anniversary. He was very tight-lipped but said they do have a few surprises to show appreciation to their community.

Carlson said their reveal night will be Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 5:30 p.m. at their station.