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In The Nick of Time
by Wendy Brandt

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the station,
"A" Shift was on duty, it was not their vacation
The hoses were hung, the bay locked up tight
In hopes there would be no more runs for the night
Gage and DeSoto had just gone to bed
Johnny was snoring, arm over his head
And Stoker and Lopez and Kelly and Cap
Were already in dreamland, enjoying a nap.

When out in the bay, they heard the tones ring
And up from their bunks, 51's men did spring
'Station 51, this isn't a spoof
Respond to Rampart, man stuck on the roof'
Turnout coats on, they flew like a flash
To the Squad and the Engine, a fleet-footed dash!
"Now what in the heck do you think?.." Johnny grumbled
"At least we got 1/2 hours sleep", Roy then mumbled

At Rampart Nurse Dixie told what was to tell
"We were just having coffee, Mike, me, Joe and Kel
When from somewhere above came a helluva noise
I knew in an instant I must call you boys!"
Away to the rooftop the company flew
And Dix and the docs went up with them, too

Atop Rampart, everyone stood there like sheep
"I'm dreaming," thought Marco, "I'm must still be asleep."
Chet rubbed his eyes, Stoker actually spoke:
"Do you see what I see, or is this a joke?"
What they saw was a jolly old man with a beard
A sled full of toys and eight tiny reindeer
"Am I glad to see you", the pert old man chuckled
"We had a crash landing --good thing I was buckled!
I'm stuck in my cockpit, of that there's no doubt
But I'm working tonight, can you guys get me out?"

"We'll need the pry bars!", from Cap came the word
"You guys tie that sled off, make sure it's secured!
"John, Roy -- check him over, make sure he's all right
"And watch out for those reindeer, I've heard they bite!"

"What's your name?" Johnny asked him, as he took his B.P.
"You've got to be kidding? You have to ask me?!
Well, some call me Santa, some call me St. Nick
Father Christmas to others... could we make this quick?
My vitals are fine, I'm sure I'm okay
Could you just pop the door, get me out of this sleigh?"

Then Chet used the pry bars to free the old man
Roy said, "Easy there, Santa, see if you can stand."
The old gent did a cartwheel, then stood on his head
"I'm ready for action, there's nothing to dread!
Many thanks to you all, you helped me save face
And just in the "Nick" of time, in this case!"

He hopped back in the sleigh (Marco fixed up the dent--
Chet straightened the door handle where it was bent)
Santa readied is team, and then raised his hand
Then they flew off of Rampart, at his command
And they heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight
"Merry Christmas to all --and, Cap, reindeer don't bite!!"

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