COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Firefighters are putting a new twist on the fire safety technique “Stop, Drop & Roll,” bringing back their annual event this holiday season.

Fire departments from Columbus, Phenix City and Smiths Station traded in their hoses for gift cards tonight as they hosted Shop, Drop & Roll.

The crews provided about 85 children from the Boys & Girls Club and Girls Inc. $100 gift cards each. They took the youth to the Walmart Super Center on Victory Dr. where they could shop.

 Fire Marshall Division Chief, John Shull, said it’s all about giving back to the community, making sure every child has something special underneath the Christmas tree. 

“It’s wonderful,” said Shull. ‘It’s a great feeling. It’s a great feeling to do something for some kids that may not be getting much this year and to, again, just to connect with the community, but certainly our children.”

Best friends Talaiya Knox-McCaskey and Skylar Armour met a couple of years ago in Girls Inc. and have been inseparable since. The fifth graders roamed the store together alongside a firefighter seeking out one item that was at the top of their lists — a matching set of necklaces that read “Best Friends” when joined together.

Knox-McCaskey and Armour felt appreciative towards the firefighters who volunteered at the event, making sure the children would have presents on Christmas day.

“It makes me feel special because all these firefighters out here just for like the community and Girls Inc.,” said Knox-McCaskey. “And I want it to like, I just feel grateful that I have the opportunity.”

“I feel grateful,” said Armour. “All these people, just for, like, Girls Inc. and the Boys & Girls Club. Like, we feel like queens and kings.”

This is the 4th year that the fire departments hosted Shop, Drop & Roll. Many children told WRBL they were excited to buy Christmas gifts not only for themselves, but for their loved ones as well.