Wichita Firefighters Busy Working And Giving Thanks

By: Stephanie Diffin Email
By: Stephanie Diffin Email

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

As most people take off from work Thanksgiving day, area firefighters are on high alert as they prepare to respond to cooking fires across the city. But the potentially busy day is not preventing them from giving thanks.

Thursday afternoon, the fire department made a very special house call to say, 'thank you.'

"I literally thought, 'Is the house on fire?'" said Meg Mathewson after firefighters surprised her at her home.

Mathewson has taken it upon herself to bring home-cooked meals to Fire Station Number One in the past. Thursday, the firefighters she feeds returned the favor by inviting her to their own Thanksgiving feast.

"To be included in their family? Oh my that is quintessential Thanksgiving. That is what Thanksgiving could be all about if people would realize it," said Mathewson.

Back at the fire station, preparations were underway Thursday. But even as firefighters checked the turkey, they still had one ear on the scanners, as the day could be a busy one.

"People are going to spend more time in the kitchen, and spending more time in the kitchen is going to produce the likelihood of possible fires for us," said Wichita Fire Division Chief Tammy Snow.

So as they respond to calls, they take their own advice, to keep in mind that cooking can be dangerous.

"If we get an alarm, or we have to respond, making sure everything's off before we leave the building," said Battalion Chief Sid Newby.

And on Thanksgiving, firefighters are leaving the building for calls of oven fires and burn injuries from cooking. But they're still finding the time to say 'thanks' to their neighbors.

"I know they're brave and courageous and all of that, but they're really a precious part of the community," said Mathewson.

The Fire Department says the number one thing you can do to prevent cooking fires is be attentive. Firefighters also encourage people to make sure their ovens and cooking supplies are clean.

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