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Working on the holiday: Firefighters share Thanksgiving traditions

Posted at 5:34 PM, Nov 23, 2023
  • Firefighters allow NBC 26 into their firehouse kitchens on Thanksgiving Day
  • Video shows firefighters cooking and spending time with one another while having to be away from their families for the holiday
  • One station's crew leaves for a call before cooking a holiday breakfast while another is called away in the middle of cooking

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Holidays like Thanksgiving are often spent with friends or family. But what about the folks whose holiday is just another day on the job? NBC 26 gives you an inside look at Thanksgiving day at a firehouse, where they have some traditions of their own.

After getting back from a medical call, it's time for breakfast at Green Bay Metro Fire Station Five. Although it may be Thanksgiving, Kimberly Davister said it's not that different from any other work day.

"We have a daily tradition of cooking together and sharing meals together," she said. "It's a very bonding experience for your crew. So, with the holidays it's just even more. So, if you have traditions at home, a lot of times we'll bring them in to the firehouse... If you can't be at home with your family on the big holidays, the best place to be is at the firehouse with your crew."

With people possibly spending more time in the kitchen during the holidays, there are some things firefighters say to keep in mind, like keeping children away from hot appliances and cookware, and not leaving cooking food unattended.

"Having fire extinguishers in your kitchen, like under the sink cabinet, is always recommended," Green Bay Metro Firefighter Natalie Boney said. "You can't predict when a fire can happen."

Boney is a first-year firefighter and it's her first Thanksgiving working at Station Three.

She excitedly rings the bell for chow when breakfast is almost ready, calling everyone to the table. But, before Thanksgiving breakfast could be served, duty calls and the firefighters' breakfast is left for later.

According to the United States Fire Administration's latest statistics, the average number of reported residential fires on Thanksgiving was more than double the average for any other day.