Firefighter rappels outside of children's hospital.

Orange County Fire Rescue Deploys Rappelling Elves to Florida Hospital for Children

Public Health & Safety

What better way to embrace the meaning of the holiday season than by having Orange County firefighters, posed as elves, rappel down the external wall of Florida Hospital for Children to deliver Santa Claus and his reindeer for a Winter Wonderland celebration.

Operation Elf Rappel did just that, to the joy of the facility’s young patients watching from the hospital’s windows.

On Dec. 12, Orange County Fire Rescue Department’s (OCFRD) Special Operations Division coordinated Operation Elf Rappel and deployed two teams of OCFRD Special Access Climbers to complete their mission – to bring joy and happiness to the children in the hospital. The teams rappelled and carried personalized signs with special messages from Santa and his elves for the children within the units to see. Santa also joined in the fun, ascending atop a ladder truck to greet patients and families during a holiday celebration.

“Often, we don’t interact with patients post admission to an emergency department,” said Orange County Fire Rescue Department Capt. Greg Hubbard. “We know that these kids were just delighted to see Santa and his elves, but truly they don’t realize how much joy they actually brought to us. Our holiday wish is simple, that the kids get all that their hearts desire. They deserve it.”

Orange County Fire Rescue Department is the largest provider of EMS transports in Central Florida, averaging 6,000 transports per month to area hospitals.

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