A First Responders’ Thanksgiving: Remembering those who don’t get the day off

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Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 5:31 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Thanksgiving Day is usually associated with a day off from work, businesses closed and possibly an extended weekend. For first responders, it’s another day answering the call for help.

“Whether or not it’s a holiday, it’s a weekend or the middle of the night; we all have to stay on duty and be ready to go,” said Station 1 Lieutenant Daniel Goodman.

Lieutenant Goodman has answered that call for 15 years now.

Goodman says sometimes his schedule will fall on a holiday.

“Your family kind of gets used to it, and mine have grown up knowing dad’s going to be away sometimes on Thanksgiving or Christmas,” Lt. Goodman said. “They just kind of have to roll with it like we do.”

Lt. Goodman and firefighters across the nation know that fires don’t take a holiday break.

“You try and hope for nothing exciting on these days,” Lt. Goodman said. “Anytime something happens on a holiday it usually is sadder, or worse for the people you’re making the run with.”

Even though they may work the holidays, they still celebrate them together at the station.

“There’s a lot of turkey, there’s a lot of ham, everyone ends up feeling like they need a map in the middle of the day,” Lt. Goodman said. “Hopefully we don’t get interrupted in the middle of it.”

Lt. Goodman says joining the Evansville Fire Department has brought him a brotherhood.

“Whenever you get to spend it with your second family, it’s still a fun day to be at work,” Lt. Goodman said.

Lt. Goodman will spend his 24 hour shift with station one, protecting the community they serve.

They’re ready to go if the call comes in, but also shared tips on how those enjoying their meal can also stay safe.

“Be careful cooking. If you’re going to fry a turkey, make sure you’re not inside or in a garage,” Lt. Goodman said. “Make sure it’s completely thawed out. We’re trying to keep people from having anything too exciting, just having a good meal and a nap later.”

Lt. Goodman says the majority of calls on Thanksgiving tend to lean towards cooking calls, and practicing safe methods can keep you safe during the Thanksgiving holiday.