The temperatures may be dropping outside but a fiery blaze made it feel like a sultry August afternoon in November as the boys, plus Kara and Morgan, practiced their skills during a smoking hot drill.

The controlled burn took place over a two-day period with all engine companies participating, including one from Oak Bluffs. The ability to burn a building in this manner allows for practical skills to be learned by our fervent firefighters.

Thanks to the B.A.D.D. (Bettencourt, Alexander, Dyke and Donaroma) Company for donating the building for this exceptional practice.

The life-sized drill also provides valuable training for the emergency medical technicians through providing fatigued and dehydrated firefighters with fluids and oxygen, and recording vitals. In addition to practicing these life-saving skills, practicing safety is of the utmost importance.

Our dedicated firefighters put this training to the test on Thanksgiving Day as they pushed back their chairs, put down their forks and left their own families to respond to a real house fire in Katama. All the engines left the station racing towards South Beach to stifle this real-life inferno. No one was injured in the fire and the homeowners have to be thankful for that.

At the final meeting of the year, everyone came hungry and left happy as Engine 4 turned out a delicious dinner of pineapple-sweetened spiral ham, mashed sweet potatoes, crisp green beans, hot-from-the-oven corn bread and salad. Special thanks to Morgan Hauck for treating us to her homemade desserts: creamy cheesecake, German chocolate cake and the firehouse favorite, carrot cake.

Congratulations to Kara Shemeth as she prepares to join the head table as vice president of the association. Don O’Shaughnessy, former vice president, received a round of applause and standing ovation from his peers as his two-year term has come to an end. President Andrew Kelly praised Don for his tremendous efforts over the years; most noteworthy is his contribution to our most successful golf tournament ever this past fall. Thank you, Don, for all your time and dedication.

The rest of the head table has committed to another two-year term: president Andrew Kelly, secretary Geoff Freeman and treasurer Scott Ellis.

A moment of silence was observed in honor of the late Capt. John Sawyer and a donation was made on his behalf to the Jimmy Fund.

The boys of Engine One loaned their fire truck to Santa Claus as he traded in his reindeer to take a ride down Main street in the Edgartown Christmas parade. Now that’s one way to get on Santa’s nice list, boys.

Retired Capt. Dick Kelly kept several of us busy on Saturday morning, Dec. 15, stuffing stockings with fruit, nuts and candy. The assembly line of helping hands made quick work of this merry task. The following morning, in the driving rain and sleet, each fire truck delivered these stockings to be enjoyed by the eldest members of our community.

The Buffs wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

Remember, as an unknown author once said, “Hug a firefighter and feel warm all over.”