WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - “Billy the Christmas Goat” has become the mascot for the Wilmington Fire Department during this holiday season.
We started noticing Billy on the department’s Twitter feed.
Images of Billy are often captioned with reminders of fire safety during the holidays.
So, what’s the story behind Billy?
It started with an intern from Denmark. Freja Kidal, 22, is working to get a bachelor degree in emergency and risk management. It’s mandatory to have an internship to get a degree in Denmark. Kidal works for the Greater Copenhagen Fire Department and as a volunteer firefighter. She explained she wanted to explore traveling alone and keep ties to the fire department, which brought her to Wilmington for her internship.
Kidal explains straw goats are used as decorations in Denmark. She introduced the traditional decoration to WFD. The goat is named Billy because he of his potential flammability (flamma-Billy). Billy has become the mascot for fire safety during the Christmas season, guiding people to avoid the most common reasons behind dangerous home fires, including unattended cooking and candles. The social messages also encourage neighbors to have working smoke detectors.