Thanksgiving as a kid found us gathered around the table at Station 22, a busy triple company with Chief, tables and chairs brought into any area around the firehouse. Kids ranged from the toddlers of the rookies to the middle schoolers of the Truckmen to the teenagers of the Chief. Chaos loosely described it.
Our second family was Dad’s crew and their families were ours too on that day.
That doesn’t happen as often as I remember, but I was especially reminded of this tradition here at Station 49 this Thanksgiving.
As Rescue Captain 4 for the day, my primary responsibility to is manage the ambulance fleet from here on the second floor of the yard. Scheduling, stocking, more scheduling and as the crews came in to start their shift, everyone brought a little something to share. The table began to get smaller and smaller as large bowls of stuffing, heaping trays of potatoes and 2 turkeys found their way into the house, not to mention a half dozen pies.
Each few hours another car or two would rotate through if the calls were quiet enough, and the oncoming folks would wander in and graze. But when crews are finishing their shifts, the smiles broaden and the family shows through. When you no longer have to listen for the radio you can loosen your belt, grab another serving of stuffing and have a laugh with your family…Before having to go home to your other family.
It isn’t the firehouse meals of my childhood, but the ambulance fleet yard meals of my adulthood.
In the end it’s all the same, really, just instead of playing basketball after the meal, I’m racing to reheat and remake food between shifts. Still fun though.
Be safe everyone,