RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A big part of Thanksgiving is spending time with family, but for first responders, it isn’t always possible.
Ladder 35 was ready to spring into action, and so were the three members of the Northern Wake Fire Department working at Station 1 this Thanksgiving. Their shift started at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving and won’t end until 7 a.m. Friday.
The crew responded to one medical call through late Thanksgiving evening.
But they were always one 911 call away from a busy night.
While they weren’t at home with family, they were able to have a Thanksgiving feast in the upstairs kitchen of Station 1, complete with a turkey and sides.
Lt. Caleb Porterfield said he looks at any fire calls Thursday through a Thanksgiving lens.
“If we were to get sent to a fire right now, I’d look at it differently just because, typically on this day [people] are frying turkeys, so you know you don’t want to go and spray water if you don’t have to, maybe you have to use a dry chemical to put the fire out,” Porterfield said.
He said the toughest part of the job is missing time with loved ones.
“Definitely it’s gonna be time away from the family, that’s the toughest part of the job,” Porterfield said. “I wouldn’t say you get used to it, but, you know, it just becomes life.”
It was firefighter Indigo Moysenko’s first Thanksgiving working. He said it felt like a normal day. While he didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving, he was thankful for how he spent it.
“I suppose I have the fortune of having a family that’s not really a stickler for going with a particular day, so we’re actually gonna have dinner tomorrow,” Moysenko said. “All I can say is I’m privileged to be working here, being able to provide patient care and protect the community while people are on their holiday.”