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UPDATED – Firefighter takes tumble after Santa arrives. Lancaster, Pennsylvania captain loses footing at Christmas Tree lighting ceremony and winds up in the hospital.

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As you can see above Santa exited City of Lancaster’s Truck 2 just fine last night. That was not the case with Captain Ken Barton. Captain Barton is in the hospital with five broken ribs, a cracked thoracic vertebrae and a minor head injury. The captain told’s Stephen Kopfinger that he’s in “an excruciating amount of pain”.

Lancaster revived a tradition last night when, for the first time in 14-years, Santa made his entrance on the roof top of the former Watt & Shand department store. It was the job of Truck 2 to pluck Santa off the roof and bring him down to the stage. In the video below you will see the fire department did that expertly (we don’t know for sure if that is Captain Barton at the controls).

What happened next is why the captain is in the hospital. Here is an excerpt from

Barton, speaking from his bed at Lancaster General Hospital, said he wasn’t familiar with where the platform was on the new truck, which caused him to misstep and fall. The next thing he knew, “I woke up in the ambulance,” he said.

Santa Claus had already been delivered to the Marriott and firefighters were “bedding the ladder and securing equipment” when Barton fell, according to a fellow firefighter, who did not wish to be identified. The firefighter said Barton was dismounting from the aerial part of the ladder truck and onto the turntable when the accident happened.

The reports indicate Captain Barton fell about 12 feet.

The captain is the president of IAFF Local 319 and the accident happened on his 51st birthday. 

Truck 2 is described on the union website as a 2008 Crimson/Spartan Gladiator 100′ quint that was put in service in August of this year.

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