How first responders working the holiday still enjoy a family meal

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 4:58 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Despite the holiday, some people are still at work. Among them-- first responders. But holidays on the clock don’t need to mean holidays without family.

Senior Firefighter Bill Lyons is on duty this Thanksgiving and it’s not just turkey duty.

“I have worked in the kitchen a little so that comes in handy, especially with these guys... making meals for them,” Lyons said.

On a holiday centered around time with loved ones, first responders find their own way to celebrate time with family, even when they’re on the clock.

At the Burlington Fire Department, that Thanksgiving meal happens at the central fire station.

“We bring our families in, cook them all up a nice meal and run calls at the same time,” Lyons explained.

Between calls, the firefighters manage to whip up a meal to share with each other and their families. Firefighters from all five of Burlington’s stations convene under one roof with each firehouse bringing a dish.

“We’re away from our families a lot of the time, so it’s nice on special events like this that we’re able to bring them to us, have a nice meal prepared for all of them and enjoy the holiday together,” Lyons said.

This year, despite a friendly inter-department rivalry, there were some extra guests.

“The cops know that we can cook better than them, so they know where to come for a good meal,” Lyons said.

“They actually have time to cook, they got a full kitchen, they’re sitting there. They’ve got five ambulances, five stations-- they have so much more time than us,” Burlington Police Ofc. Jeffrey Baur said.

Jokes aside, we’re told having a hot Thanksgiving meal to look forward to makes the shift a bit better.

“I think it’s fantastic, it’s a nice place. It’s nice for BFD to host us here at their Station One. It’s nice when I’m away from family I’m still welcomed and get a nice warm meal,” Baur said.

And it builds camaraderie between first responders one scoop of stuffing at a time.

“We like to take care of our brothers,” Lyons said. “They take care of us out in the field, and we like to look after each other. So they’re away from their families doing their job, the least we can do is have them come in and enjoy our meal.”