Thanksgiving changes for firefighters


FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — The calls for service don’t stop for Thanksgiving, and Fresno firefighters, like other first responders they are ready year round.

“Firefighters are used to working on holidays. That’s something that you know, we’ve kind of signed up for with the job,” Pete Martinez a fire captain said.

But this year the holiday for those on duty won’t look the same.

“Anybody who’s familiar with 2020 realizes that there’s a lot different with COVID around, and so it’s no different here at the station,” Martinez said.

The pandemic means stricter rules and for the first time family is not allowed over. The crew of eight at station nine in central Fresno are mostly married with children.

Martinez said normally they’d have 20 to 30 people inside to celebrate. But this time, they’ll be spending the holiday with just each other.

“We’ll be Facetiming our families and sending pictures like anybody else would of what we’re having for Thanksgiving. That’s the way we stay connected, and fortunately we have that technology available,” Martinez said.

He said it’s typically a busy time for crews and cooking fires during get-togethers are generally a concern. But this year, with larger gathering discouraged, it may end up being quieter than usual.

Martinez said even if everything is different this time around, it’s never hard for them to find something to be thankful for.

“It doesn’t matter what time of year, we’re always thankful for our job and we talk about how lucky we are to be able to do this job because so many people depend on us,” he said.

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