A Firefighter’s Thanksgiving

MEDFORD, Ore. – While many have been enjoying food and quality time with friends and family this Thanksgiving, others work on holidays, including first responders.

Here at Medford Fire and Rescue Station 13, Captain Seth McEwen say that it’s still an honor to be able to respond to emergencies on Thanksgiving.

Captain McEwen said, “we’re here and yeah it’s a bummer when you’re away from your family., but we also understand that it would really be terrible to have an emergency on a holiday too. So, as much as it’s a bummer to be away from family, we still get to serve the community in this capacity, on a holiday.”

And while they’re on standby, in case of those emergencies., they have different tasks and activities around the station to keep themselves busy.

Captain McEwen said, “we do a lot of circuit work with the rowing machine and bars, and all sorts of good stuff. So, we definitely have a really fit team we’re proud of, it’s something we do everyday.”

He says that it’s extremely important that the team stays in shape, so they can perform in emergencies and prevent injuries.

Because of this, the crew says they spend a lot of time exercising.

But when they’re not doing that, they’re checking their equipment, restocking supplies, maintaining the station, sharpening their skills and cooking.

Captain McEwen said, “and this is where we spend a lot of our time. So, we have a commercial grade kitchen, which we’re very grateful to have. And we have tons of stuff because we like to eat, we got three refrigerators, condiment refrigerators, smoker and a lot of really good stuff to support us because: 48-hour shifts? You want to eat some good food.”

They say that call volumes vary, but that most times during Thanksgiving, they have a chance to invite their own families to the station.

They say it’s no fancy meal because at any point they might have to respond to an emergency.

But even when the invited families leave, Captain McEwen describes his team as a second family.

He says, “we’re teammates when we’re out there on the fire engine or the fire truck, doing our job. But in here we’re more of a family, we have our families cycling through but at the end of the day, when they’re all gone, we have each other and so we do have our Thanksgiving meal together. So, we try to duplicate as much as we can of a family-oriented day today.”

Medford fire and rescue also emphasizes their gratitude to the community for doing their best to stay safe during the holiday.

For safety tips you can visit their Facebook page or their website. 

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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