The Cookeville Fire Department will bring back its Cheer Truck this weekend, spreading holiday spirit through the city.
Fire Chief Benton Young said the department received great feedback after debuting the truck last year. Young said a reserve fire engine will be strung up with lights and pass through all major subdivisions through December.
“We work for the citizens of Cookeville, so we want to try to give back when we can,” Young said. “A lot of people can’t get out or have small children and it’s nice to go through some of the neighborhoods just like the ice cream trucks back when we were growing up, right? It’s always nice to see a big pretty truck with lights all over it and it’s Christmas time with Santa Claus, you know. It’s a good thing.”
Young said the truck will be driven by reserve drivers working through their reserve driver engineer handbooks and fulfilling their required drive time. Young said drivers will also make stops at nursing homes. The truck will run through December 24, with routes and dates available on the Fire Department’s website and Facebook page.
“Those people typically may not be able to get out or enjoy the Christmas festivities, so going to those nursing homes and assisted living homes, that just made their day,” Young said.
Young said he hopes children will enjoy the truck, but also inspiration when they see the fire engine rumble down their street.
“Seems like when I was younger, every young person wanted to be a policeman or a fireman, but you know, not so much today,” Young said. “They want to be YouTube influencers or something, so if we can turn them our way, that’s all the better.”
Young said the Cheer Truck is another opportunity to show that the Fire Department is part of the community.
“You can go back through 200 years of firefighting tradition, it’s always the community,” Young said. “Back then, it was the community that got together to put the fires out. We’re no different now, we just do it as a job.”