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A Thanksgiving Day thought....

My first Fire Department Thanksgiving was in 1981. It was my first Thanksgiving without my family dinner and I was a little mopey. A crusty old firefighter named Tom was the cook and to say that he ran the kitchen with "rigorous control" would be an understatement. There would be no shenanigans with his feast and he constantly adjusted the oven knobs like he was tuning in an old radio. "Dinner is 3pm sharp, and don't touch anything"! he bellows. Just before we were going to sit down for our meal, the tones came in for a child that had fallen and was bleeding from the head. Four of us grumpily got on the engine and drove to a fourplex just a few blocks from our station on Carey Ave. We found a single mom, obviously having hard times, in a shabby apartment. Her daughter had hit her head on a coffee table and was bleeding from her forehead. The cut was fairly superficial and we cleaned her up and put a bandaid on it. The mom asked for a few of the bandaids for later, explaining that she wouldn't have any money for them until the end of the month. While the Captain was doing that, the Engineer looked at me and said "You smell anything, Rook?" I said "no" and he said "neither do I". What he meant was that there was no turkey in the oven here. No pumpkin pie. No sweet potato casserole.....When we got back to the station, we loaded our plates and sat down. My Captain, Hugh Winget, said a small blessing over the food and said something that I will never forget, "Personally we have lots to be thankful for, but others might not. Let's keep that in perspective , boys". I looked at the Engineer and he said "You feel like eating this?" I said "nope". The Captain said "Pack it up!", and we delivered our Thanksgiving feast to the lady and the other folks at the fourplex. Today, our Dammeron firefighters, Driver/Operators and EMTs stand ready to respond to any emergency call, and although the holiday is a special time, they make this sacrifice to serve the community. So, I for one, am thankful for the men and women willing to do this. And, although they don't do it for any special recognition, they will let you know that it lifts their hearts when they feel supported by the community. And that feeling of support is especially noticed during the holidays. Please keep them in your Thanksgiving thoughts.

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