First responders celebrate the holiday while on the job in Phoenix

Some Phoenix first responders have to work on Thanksgiving but they have come up with ways to celebrate.
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 5:56 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Working the holidays is part of the job as a first responder. Among those working this Thanksgiving are the many men and women who dedicate their time as firefighters. “We know what to expect. We know we’re going to have to work holidays, we’re going to have to work Christmas, Thanksgiving,” said Todd Keller with the Phoenix Fire Department.

For them, Thanksgiving is the busiest day for calls for kitchen fires. “We’re going to go on all kind of emergencies, including house fires, including car accidents, so it is a pretty busy shift for us,” Keller said. He says they have adjusted how they celebrate the holiday while on the job. “Spending Thanksgiving at the fire station is so much fun. It’s like our second family,” he said.

This year, Keller said they’re still cooking. “We really get together and cook turkeys, stuffing and it bonds us a little but closer,” Keller said. But Thanksgiving at the fire station looks a little different. The on-duty team will cook a big meal between calls and invite their families to join them for dinner. “We spend 24 hours away from our families. Like a lot of jobs out there. What we like to do is invite them down, we start cooking early in the morning,” he said.

Even with the tough calls and the interruptions, Keller says it’s a job worth doing. “We all knew what we were getting into when we signed up for this job, and all of us do this job because we want to help each other. We want to help members of the community, we want to go on calls and fight fires. We want to save lives,” Keller said.