First responders work around the clock on Thanksgiving

First responders work around the clock on Thanksgiving

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Emergencies don’t take a break and neither do first responders. As families enjoyed Thanksgiving, Tucson firefighters and paramedics were busy responding to calls.

By early evening, those working at Fire Hall 9 had responded to about half a dozen medical calls.

“It’s tough sometimes, being away from the family at home,” Colin Porter, an engineer for the Tucson Fire Department, said.

“I have a daughter who is 14,” Crystal Ortiz, a firefighter and paramedic, said. “Luckily, I have amazing parents who help me out with her all of the time. It’s not like certain emergencies only happen from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

Calls kept coming in for TFD all night.

Firefighters from Station 22 were quickly able to put out a brush fire at Park Avenue and Valencia Road. In between calls, crews made the most of the holiday.

“Family, friends, football, food,” said TFD Battalion Chief Barret Baker. “The four ‘F’s’ of fun.”

A big Thanksgiving feast was held at both fire stations. Family members trickled in throughout the night as crews watched football. Firefighters at Station 9 also took part in a friendly game of cornhole.

“This is [our] home away from home,” Ortiz said.

Even though working in a fire house means being on the clock during the holidays, that doesn’t mean crew members aren’t happy to be there.

“I’m thankful for this job and to be able to work with such a great crew,” Porter said.

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