TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Many of us have Christmas traditions around the holidays. Maybe you watch the move Christmas Story with the family. Maybe you play a certain game at the dinner table. For Tucson firefighters, they have a different tradition.
Each year families visit fire stations while loved ones are on duty.
Thomas Chadwick has been with Tucson Fire for about a year and half, this year was the first time working Christmas. His family came along to spend the holiday with him too.
"It's nice to have family here during down time in between calls," he said.
"Obviously we're proud of him, and this is our first Christmas as the fire house," said his father, Mark Chadwick.
Firefighters invite their wives, girlfriends, kids, parents, and more to the fire station for Christmas dinner. It is a meeting of different families, immediate families and the second family of firefighters.
While a small group of firefighters cook up a traditional Christmas meal complete with Turkey, potatoes, rolls, and pies, kids play with toys in the common area and make reindeer out of candy canes.
Capt. Roger Soriano has been with TFD for 27 years, this year his girlfriend, kids, and grandkids came by.
"We get to have a big dinner with them and we get to enjoy company, see everyone's family, enjoy the grandkids and kids. and we run calls," said Capt. Soriano.
The part about running calls, is very important because although they are celebrating Christmas the firefighters still have a job to do.
While Nine On Your Side was at Station 7, everyone was dishing up for Christmas dinner when the call came in for a fire. Firefighters drop everything, run out the door, load up into the fire engines, and head out. All this while families watch, and a young girl waves goodbye.
The crew respond to a car fire in a garage and put it out within minutes. No one is hurt, despite the fact there was a Christmas gathering inside the home.
"We're here to serve and take care of the public 24/7, 365," said Battalion Chief Kris Blume.
Blume added that fire crews not arrive sooner, the fire could have spread to the rest of the home.
Afterward, the firefighters could head back to the station where families were waiting.