Getting a Glow On

Getting a Glow On

Doughnut sign rigged when alarm sounds.

Talk about a wake-up call. This one is a real doozie. Or is that a real doughzie?

Whenever the alarm goes off at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department's Penn Daw Station, at 6624 Hulvey Terrace, the recently acquired neon Krispy Kreme sign, now hanging on the wall of the bunk room, lights up, bathing the entire room in a red glow.

"This is how our firefighters get their alert at night," said station commander Capt. James Walsh. "When a call comes in, the tone goes off and the light comes on. It's part of our alert system." And, that means it goes off on average of 12 or 13 times a day.

How the doughnut shop light ended up on the fire station wall is based on a historical relationship between the two entities dating back 40 to 50 years, not to mention uncountable numbers of donuts consumed, according to Walsh.

"The fire department and Krispy Kreme have had a fantastic relationship for many years. We have worked together on many community activities, and they have always given us great support," he said.

"Both our commissary manager, Son Che, and the manager of the Route 1 store, Ed Auld, have a good working relationship with the firefighters," said Jennifer Yeager and Piper Anderson, account representatives for Krispy Kreme.

"When the old store was replaced, the two original signs were given to charities to auction off to raise money," Yeager explained. "This light was brand new. But our manager wanted the fire station to have it because of all the years we have worked together."

Each of the auctioned signs brought a price of $5,000. Yeager estimated the value of the new sign in the $10,000 range. It is the only one in the nation to grace a fire station.

As the crew of firefighters assembled for a group picture under their circular sign, the tone went off, and on came the red neon tubing proclaiming their diet of the day — Krispy Kreme. When someone yelled, "Get the donuts," back came the answer, "They're all gone."