All aboard the Pembroke Pines Santa Express!

December 21 • 2023

This story is a part of an ongoing series titled, “12 Days of Giving,” where we will highlight just a few of the many IAFF members supporting their communities this holiday season.

Pembroke Pines, FL Local 2292’s Santa Express.

The Pembroke Pines, FL Local 2292’s Santa Express left the station, the fire station, that is, for the 26th year. Santa and his fire fighter elves made 400 stops over the course of several nights to benefit area families. 

The event is usually capped between 200 and 300 but, high public demand called for a change of plans. 

“As soon as the event sold out, the phones lit up. And we certainly didn’t want to disappoint the kids,” Local 2292 President Paul Smith said. “So, we worked with our chief to increase the number of families from 300 to 400 and expand the number of nights we would run the Santa Express.” 

The program began as a fundraiser and toy drive for the city’s families in need.  Each resident who requests Santa to stop by in the fire engine is asked to donate an unwrapped gift or a monetary donation.   

Local 2292 members organize the stops and schedule four Santa Express engines to go for three or four nights. Each engine has a driver, navigator, a few elves, and Santa. Residents have the option of providing gifts for Santa to “deliver” to their children. 

Pembroke Pines members credit the positive labor-management relationship to the event’s success every year.