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Texarkana fire crew ready for the holiday, both feast and fire

by Junius Stone | November 24, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.
Firefighter Jeremy Hawkins, left, will assume duty with A Crew, Station 9, Summerhill Road), Texarkana Texas Fire Department at 7 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, relieving C Crew. With C Crew are Firefighter Michael Staten and Probationary Firefighter Hadyn Knight, who will be off duty 7 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. The department ensures the firefighters on duty will get to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner while making sure the city has fire coverage in the event a call goes out. The firefighters are in front of one of its two engines. This one is War Dog Engine 9. (Staff photo by Junius Stone)

TEXARKANA, Texas -- The firefighters of Station 9 on Summerhill Road get set for Thanksgiving celebrations. But to ask them, it is pretty much down to a routine.

"Typically, on holidays like this, crews who will be on duty the day of bring stuff, potluck from home," said Clint Lachowsky, driver-engineer with C Crew. "Some might cook dishes at the station. In the case of us, the department will be setting up a dinner at a planned location and the crews on duty will be rotated over to it to enjoy dinner that day, with the plan to let everyone on duty have a good dinner while leaving the city fully covered, should a call go out. Naturally, this plan is subject to maintaining full fire coverage and the needs of the city."

Jeremy Hawkins, firefighter with A Crew, coming on duty to relieve C Crew on Thanksgiving Day, says such planning is typical for fire departments and stations on the holidays.

"We make the runs as they come in, regardless of what else is going on at the time," he said. "But we try to get together as a community for the crews on duty, to make sure they get a holiday and a good meal, too. This sort of thing is pretty well sorted out in our department. The guys not on duty will have a normal Thanksgiving Day."

The firefighters seem comfortable, regarding holiday feasting as just another point on the day's plans, fully ready to head out should an alarm sounds.

"Handling the meal is part of the routine now," said Hawkins. "More unusual is the kinds of calls that come in on Thanksgiving Day, that are more typical for that day than most others. Very often, it is cooking mishaps that have us paying a visit. Decks commonly get burned on that day.

"Please, take it from our experience, if you are doing the fried turkey for yourself, make sure your turkey is thoroughly thawed out before you dip it in the boiling oil. Boiling oil and ice do not react well together. Someone can get hurt and you can set things on fire. Thaw out that turkey and put it in carefully, after assessing just how much oil you need, taking in how much the turkey displaces."

Hawkins and the crew of Station 9, much like firefighters anywhere, send out holiday wishes and thanks:

"Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day," they say. "Enjoy your families and friends and your time together. We deeply thank the citizens of Texarkana, Texas, for all the support they've given us."

Print Headline: Texarkana fire crew ready for the holiday, both feast and fire

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