‘Missing out’: Salt Lake City firefighters know working on Thanksgiving comes with the job

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – As the entire nation celebrated Thanksgiving, the men of Platoon A of Salt Lake City Fire Station Number 2 called it something else: Thursday.

“It just feels like another day to be honest,” SLC Fire Department firefighter/paramedic Jared Schreiner said.

Another day that often has special challenges for these first responders.

“On Thanksgiving, you happen to have a lot of grease fires, kitchen fires,” firefighter/paramedic Kristopher Jenkins told ABC4 News. “Then medically you have a lot of heart attacks, unfortunately, a lot of people that overeat, overexert themselves.”

Captain Calvin Christiansen has been with SLC Fire for 16 years. How many Thanksgivings has he worked in that stretch?

“Seems like all of them if you ask my wife,” he replies. “You know your family always misses you when it’s a holiday like this…When you’re not there, you’re not there and that’s just how it is.”

The best they can do this Thanksgiving is to check in with their wives and kids via phone and FaceTime.

“It’s still missing out though. You’re still not there with your family,”  firefighter/paramedic Justin LaMarr said. “Growing up I never had a Thanksgiving when I wasn’t with my Mom and Dad and my entire family so it is an adjustment.”

“They understand this is our job and these are some of the sacrifices you have to make to come and do it,” Capt. Christiansen said. “We love what we do, we love serving the citizens of Salt Lake City but we do sacrifice a lot such as holidays and not being with our families to do it.”

Around 1 o’clock on Thursday afternoon our interviews were cut short by a call from dispatch.

“Station 2. Structure Fire. Residential,” the automated voice announced over the speakers.

In seconds Platoon A was sliding down, gearing up and heading out. The siren wailed as the engine pulled out of its bay.

Platoon A was hoping for a quiet evening Thursday because the men were on duty until 8:30 Friday morning.

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