HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A first responder’s job is never done, even during the holidays.
It’s a 24/7 job that requires them to be away from their families to help serve others in the community.
High Point Fire Department Station 8 Equipment Operator Jacob Conner said the holiday season is peak time for fires in the kitchens. Conner said people spend most of the time cooking dinner for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and most fires come from the stove or oven area.
“It is peak time it, seems like we respond to more kitchen fires. Also, with cold weather coming in, cold-weather cooking, people, unfortunately, don’t take care of their stoves like they should. They don’t clean them, so we do respond to more fires the holiday season,” said Conner.
Conner said, during the holiday season, it’s hard being away from family. He said their loved ones know their jobs are demanding.
He said thanks to the organization family of firefighters can bring holiday dinners and eat with the whole fire crew, so they aren’t alone.
Conner said his family has learned to celebrate the holidays around his schedule and sometimes observe it as a family together on a different day.
Greensboro Police Sargent B.R. Denny said being an officer is about protecting the people in the community when they need him most.
Denny said this time of the year, more people are home and gather in more groups during their time off and nightlife events. “I think you see more people, and anytime you have more people, you have more victims,” said Denny.
Denny said sometimes community groups usually visit departments and deliver warm meals for officers on duty.
Denny said before he began his thanksgiving night shift, he celebrated with his family. He said he’s thankful for their understanding of the schedules.
“I’m incredibly thankful for my family. Any time you see an officer, a paramedic, or a firefighter, doctors, nurses when you get out here and you see us working on a holiday, everybody is having to take a break from their family to be here, and that there’s a lot of families missing somebody from the table,” said Denny.
Both responders said they are honored to be able to have families that understand their absences during the holiday to be able to serve and protect their communities.