Fire Capt. Craig Anderson and Simon the elf go over how to use an automatic external defibrillator, or AED. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Fire Capt. Craig Anderson and Simon the elf go over how to use an automatic external defibrillator, or AED. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Little guy, big lessons

Simon is one elf not content to remain on a shelf

Oak Harbor firefighters have been getting a little unexpected help from another department up north. Simon the elf appeared at the beginning of the month in the command rig, and he’s doing a lot more than sitting on a shelf.

Simon’s been working to educate the public about safety, as well as creating a little mischief, ever since.

However, Simon needed the right outfit — Luckily, he’s roughly the same size as a Ken doll.

“He borrowed Ken’s bunker gear,” said Lolly Titherington, photographer with the department.

Titherington has been documenting Simon’s exploits, which included participating in Community Emergency Response Team training, demonstrating what to do in an earthquake and doing rig checks. She also found the poor little guy blown outside by one of the larger wind storms.

Although he’s startled a few of the firefighters, Simon’s intentions are pure.

“He shows up at the weirdest times and in the weirdest places,” said training officer Craig Anderson, “but always with a good message.”

The elf has gained a strong following via the department’s Facebook page, according to Titherington. Adults and children alike are eager to know what’s next for Oak Harbor Fire’s littlest firefighter.

He isn’t just in the station either. He stopped by North Whidbey Middle School last Friday to help judge the students’ cupcake challenge— he loves frosting.

Recently, Simon appeared at the window of a burn cell to stress the importance of knowing two ways out of every room. On Monday, he and Anderson went over the advantages of knowing both CPR and how to use an AED — both of which can be taught by local fire districts.

Titherington said it’s likely Simon will show up at some other agencies around town as well. No matter what he’s doing, this elf on the shelf is determined to help promote safety education “and to help people have a happy and safe Christmas,” Anderson said.

“That elf really knows his stuff.”

Simon the elf hangs out on the nose of an Oak Harbor Fire Department engine. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Simon the elf hangs out on the nose of an Oak Harbor Fire Department engine. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

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