Santa helps Devizes win

This Is Wiltshire: Watch manager Richard Lake, centre, accepted the Heart of the Community award on behalf of colleagues. Pictured far right is crew manager Iain Taylor, who received a long service and good conduct medal Watch manager Richard Lake, centre, accepted the Heart of the Community award on behalf of colleagues. Pictured far right is crew manager Iain Taylor, who received a long service and good conduct medal

Serving breakfast with Santa has earned Devizes Fire Station a Heart of the Community award.

The new award – given out by Wiltshire Fire and Rescue on Tuesday – rewards outstanding community involvement.

The station has been holding its festive event for 18 years, on Saturdays before Christmas.

Children get a cooked breakfast before Santa’s arrival on a fire engine, after which he gives out gifts from his grotto.

Devizes people now ask to buy tickets long before they go on sale and the event raises hundreds of pounds for the Fire Fighters Charity.

Today’s children have parents who were brought along when the treat first started.

Devizes crew manager Iain Taylor also received a long service and good conduct medal.

Mr Taylor, 46, joined the service in 1993 and is also the director of construction firm Clenche Properties in Devizes.

His most unusual shout was to his parents’ thatched home in Bromham in 1998, when a chimney fire escalated and required the attendance of 14 appliances.

The 300-year-old house was destroyed, but crews salvaged all first floor belongings.

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