First responders celebrate Thanksgiving with their ‘work family’

While many of you spent Thanksgiving with friends and family, some in Southwest Florida are away from their loved ones to keep you safe. Firefighters and other first responders spent the holiday with their “work family.”

But, many of these first responders say it’s their honor to serve their community, even on a holiday.

While some had the privilege of serving the tHanksgiving dinner, others are out serving their community. Steven Kofsky is the training battalion chief for the City of Naples. “It’s not just a job. Everyone who does this line of work, being in law enforcement, fire, EMS they love what they do. So, they know there’s sacrifices that have to be made,” said Kofsky.

Ryan Bellamy works for North Collier Fire Rescue District. “It’s our job, it’s our duty to respond to that, and we’re happy to do it.

While they’re working on Thanksgiving, first responders told WINK News it is actually their loved ones who are truly sacrificing at home. Jeff Morse is the Battalion Chief for North Collier Fire Rescue District. “Our wives and kids that are home they’re the ones sacrificing not having us. A lot of our holidays are celebrated the day after or the day before,” said Morse.

But, there is one little thing that makes working on holidays sweet for them. “Every holiday that we work, the goal is to make a nice meal just like we would have at home. Because technically, these guys are our family. Our part-time family, every 3rd day we’re here with these guys,” Bellamy said.

This helps remind the first responders precisely what it is that they’re thankful for. Rodolfo Sasso works for the City of Naples Fire-Rescue. “It’s a great comradery, especially around the dinner table,” said Sasso.

Jacob Clark works with North Collier Fire. “Definitely no other place I’d rather be than with my family here at Unit 48,” Clark said.

Community members dropped off trees to firefighters throughout Collier County. Those firefighters said it was lovely to see how much their communities appreciate them, especially on a holiday.

Reporter:Annette Montgomery
Writer:Drew Hill
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