COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)– Not everyone has Thanksgiving off. Many law enforcement officers and first responders are spending the day away from family to keep those of us enjoying the the holiday safe. WSPA 7News spent the afternoon at one firehouse that’s making the best of their nontraditional Thanksgiving.
Calls were quiet on dispatch on Thursday. So firefighters at Station 9 in Columbia took the time to relax and make the best of their working holiday. The firefighters work 24 hour shifts every 3 days and holidays like Thanksgiving are no exception.
Jarrell Richburg has been with the Columbia Fire Department for 3 years. He says he’s used to working during the holidays. “This shift usually gets picked up on a lot of the holidays but this is my first thanksgiving working as a firefighter,” said Richburg.
August Glover moved to Columbia from Los Angeles, California to pursue his dreams as a firefighter. This is his first Thanksgiving with co-workers. He usually spends the holiday with his mother. Glover says the crew spends a third of their life at the firehouse and use the time to grow stronger as a team.
“If i need to go to the store we all have to go together, so we’re basically together all the time and being together so much you really get to know each other and it’s just different than any other job I’ve had before,” said Glover.
Richburg elaborated on the family vibe at the station. “It’s just a feeling.. I feel comfortable around them I can tell them anything if you have a problem you can talk to them about anything.”
Because the firefighters have to be ready at any second to respond to a call, their families decided to bring Thanksgiving to them. So even though it wasn’t the lavish feast at grandma’s house. it was still an occasion
“I am thankful for this department and giving me this opportunity and supporting me answering my questions and really being there for me,” said Glover.
Richburg added, “If we help one person I feel we’ve accomplished something.. if we help one person from having a bad day whether that’s putting a band-aid on their finger or pulling someone from a burning house.”