‘Happy to be here’: Wilmington firefighters grateful to serve others on Thanksgiving

While many people are at home cooking a turkey, some have to be on standby in case plans go awry on Thanksgiving.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While many people are at home cooking a turkey, some have to be on standby in case plans go awry on Thanksgiving.

Wilmington Fire Department Battalion Chief Derek Mickler says Thanksgiving is the number one day of the year for cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day.

“It’s critical that we have the fire service available along with EMS and all of our counterparts in public safety to make sure that we’re here and we’re ready to go when the bell rings,” Mickler said.

While it can be difficult to leave the family at home, Mickler says a different family awaits them at the fire station and their families from home are able to join them for a holiday meal as well.

“It’s just something that we really hold near and dear and it’s very important for us to make sure that we both have a family here at the station as well as a family at home,” Mickler said.

Some of the newest additions to the family are Arden Williams and Cody Ison. The two graduated from the academy on Friday night and served on their second shift ever on Thursday.

“Luckily, we’ve had a few calls today but nothing significant, which is really good,” Williams said. “We hope it stays that way for the rest of the day, we hope it stays that way every day but we’re happy to be here in case something does happen.”

Working holidays may not be ideal, but for these men, there’s no place they’d rather be.

“I’ve never wanted to do anything as much as I want to do this job. I hope everyone at home is grateful to be there, grateful to be with their family,” Ison said. “I’d like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to be here on this side today.”

Living up to their goal of “Excellence Through Service.”

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