As we approach the holidays, our thoughts turn to faith, family, friends and food. While most of us will enjoy a break from the norm to gather with loved ones, our first responders remain on duty, ready to protect and serve the citizens of Greenwood. We give thanks for our hometown heroes who gear up and show up, even during the holidays.
Lieutenant Josh Thompson
For 13-year veteran Lieutenant Josh Thompson, working Christmas day “is business as usual. We add in the gift exchange and splurge a little extra on a big holiday feast. Most, if not all, family will stop by the firehouse to see their loved one and hang out with the on-duty crews.”
On B-Shift duty, he and his family prepare in advance.
“We typically take care of our family events on Christmas Eve,” he says. “My wife and I will have immediate family over to the house to have dinner, watch the kids open gifts from family, play games and enjoy each other’s company. Christmas Day, Sarah and the girls will usually come by and see me at work. It has become one of those things that we not only get used to, but our family gets used to. Emergencies don’t take a day off just because it’s a holiday. We know that when we signed up to do this job.”
Firefighter/EMT/Engineer Daniel Strong
A 10-year veteran, Daniel Strong has adjusted his tradition similarly.
“In years past and this year while working Christmas day, we will do dinner and presents at home on Christmas Eve,” he says. “I will miss Christmas at my Grandma’s house on Christmas day, which is always a very nostalgic, fun gathering. Luckily, I can FaceTime/Google Duo my family while at the firehouse. This year will be my son’s second Christmas (he turns 1 on December 11), so being away from him will probably be the most difficult part of working Christmas this year.
“Working Christmas day at the firehouse has historically been a great day with my second family,” Strong adds. “We live and work together one out of three days, so we’ve developed a bond over the years and it’s nice to spend holidays with them as well. People in the community still have emergencies on Christmas day, and we are ready to respond at any time. I’ve responded to house fires, vehicle accidents and medical emergencies while working on Christmas in the past. As emergency responders, we know that our duty is to provide a service to the community we protect no matter what calendar day that happens to fall on. We’ll make the best of working Christmas day while ensuring the residents of the City of Greenwood stay safe and enjoy their Holiday Season.”