Charlottesville Fire & Rescue Crews Celebrate Thanksgiving on the Clock

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Firefighters carve the turkey for their Thanksgiving meal Firefighters carve the turkey for their Thanksgiving meal

Many people are enjoying turkey, watching football, and spending time with family. But the Thanksgiving holiday is not quite the same relaxing day for first responders. They don't get the day off work, but that doesn't mean they aren't taking part in the holiday.

Firefighters celebrate the day just like everybody else - with lots of turkey and desserts. The only difference is their Thanksgiving feast can come to a halt at the sound of an alarm.

The Charlottesville Fire Department spends several work shifts making up around 20 festive dishes. For the firefighters, working on a holiday is just another day spent with good friends.

"This is really our second family. We spend 24 hours a day here with each other,” said Captain Scott Carpenter of the Charlottesville Fire Department.

The Fire Department invites their families and EMTs out for the feast as well - but the celebration comes to an end if a call for service comes in - like it did Thursday for some of the EMTs.

Carpenter says it's not the first time their Thanksgiving dinner was put on hold, and it won't be the last.

"I can remember sitting here and had a fire at the university and it was several hours before we got to come back to the station to our meal and literally just sat down, put the plate on the table and had to leave,” said Carpenter.

You don't have to be a master chef to contribute to the Fire Department’s feast. Creativity is key. Firefighter Cedric Whindleton got crafty and made a ramen noodle casserole for Thursday’s meal.

"It's about the cheapest meal I ever made. It cost about $1.50,” said Whindleton.

While Whindleton says he doesn't plan to eat much of the noodle masterpiece, he hopes the dish is a hit.

The EMTs that had to go on a call during dinner made it back in time for plenty of leftovers.

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