EMERGENCY CREWS READY FOR SANTA
SPECIALLY TRAINED TEAMS IN WICKLOW ARE READY FOR SANTA’S CALL
EMERGENCY services in Wicklow will be on standby in the early hours of Christmas morning should their expert training be needed to come to the aid of a special visitor who is expected in the county some time between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
Leading the Santa Emergency Response Team is the Dublin-based Rescue 116 Coastguard helicopter which has been fuelled and is ready to accompany the man in red through Wicklow, should he need an escort. They’ve also taken on board special reindeer food should energy levels be running low. Also on board are special hooks to catch any Christmas presents that may accidentally fall from the sleigh.
Local RNLI Lifeboats and Coastguard Inshore Rescue Boats are also on standby to go for any sacks of presents that fall out over water, and Coastguard and Civil Defence crews are also ready to search shorelines in case any presents come loose along the windy coastline. This rarely happens, but the volunteers at these valuable services are always ready to respond to an emergency 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Fire crews are also on alert should there be any particularly roaring fires preventing Santa from getting down the county’s chimneys, and of course ambulance crews are on standby in case he gets stuck up a chimney. Gardaí are also planning to work overtime to ensure the sleigh stays secure while Santa is visiting each house.
Santa is expected to use Hook Lighthouse in Wexford as his guiding light into Ireland, then immediately swing right and head towards Wicklow. Once he’s passed the lights of Gorey, he will turn left to cover Carnew, Shillelagh and Tinahely before zig-zagging his way across the county, finishing up in Blessington and Bray.
As weather conditions are still uncertain for Christmas Eve, Santa’s schedule is still not fixed in place. If children watch the sky to the West to South West at around 5.25 p.m. or around 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, they may see a light high travelling high in the sky - if there are no clouds. Santa normally leaves the North Pole early on Christmas Eve to begin delivering Christmas presents in other time zones.
Meanwhile, emergency services are giving high priority to the welfare of Santa’s reindeer this year. Those in charge of the snow globe at Bray’s Town Hall are on standby in case the reindeer need to dip their hooves in the icy water. It’s well known that they get red hot when they fly at such speeds.
SPCA animal welfare organisations in the county have had intensive training in specialised reindeer care. Wicklow SPCA has said its volunteers underwent five months of training and can now scrape ice off a reindeer, untangle its tail or treat an injured hoof in under twenty seconds. A spokesperson for the society said ‘it’s all about speed. Santa Claus has a lot of work to do in just one night – you can’t afford any down time. Everyone thanks Santa, but it’s the reindeer that make him look good!’
He said there is still concern about the amount of carrots which are left out for the reindeer. It is a proven fact that carrots make reindeer break wind and the animal welfare organisation is concerned the effects this will have on the environment, and Father Christmas himself, who has to sit behind them. It’s also said to cause dizziness in penguins. The society recommends some blades of grass, a bit of fruit, such as an apple or orange or bowl of water.
The most important thing is children must get to bed early on Christmas Eve so Santa isn’t delayed in doing his rounds. And while everyone is asleep, don’t forget, there are teams of dedicated and trained professionals on standby ready to make sure Santa, his reindeer, and all of us have a safe and happy Christmas, and for that, we thank them.