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Firefighters Spend Christmas With Family at the Station

Posted December 25, 2007

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— Firefighters across the Triangle spent Christmas Day cooking up turkeys at the station and going on calls, making sure that families celebrating at their homes were safe.

Morrisville firefighters said they treat Christmas as just another day on the job — but one seasoned with the holiday spirit.

Battalion Chief Glenn Clapp said he and the other nine firefighters make up an extended family at their station. This holiday, they spent hours cooking some turkey, several sides and deserts, and then they feasted, he said.

“We try to make it as homey as possible” while spending Christmas away from their immediate families, Clapp said. “This is one of the things that comes with the territory. Our families know of the duties we serve.”

Firefighter Todd Lewis said he woke up his wife and 4-year-old daughter at 4:30 a.m. to celebrate Christmas before he went into work.

"She ran down the hallway. A little delayed reaction, I think, because of the lack of sleep," Lewis said. "I don't think she was ready to be awakened. But we had a good time."

Clapp said such sacrifices are necessary and show the commitment his firefighters have.

"It's more than just an 8-to-5 job," he said. "It's something we do. It's part of who we are."

While the clock wound down on their 24-hour shift, the firefighters always had the dispatch radio nearby and were ready to drop everything – including their Christmas feast – at a moment's notice.

"We're here to do that if the call arises," Clapp said.

Christmas Day 2007 was a relatively quiet day for firefighters. The Morrisville Fire Department had one call, while Wake County firefighters hit the streets six times.

Police officers were also hitting the streets, keeping them safe on Christmas.


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  • PDMARTIN Dec 26, 2007

    Steve Crisp:

    Typically I like to read what you have to say, BUT, could you not find fault with every single story and the FACTS therein?

    It was a feel good story that you just muddled up with your statistics and criticism. LIGHTEN UP

  • The ORIGINAL ladybug Dec 26, 2007

    Steve, I personally think you would be a great person to takeover the job of WRAL online editor-in-cheif. Obviously, nobody knows as much as you do, and nobody is as perfect either.
    Like it has been said, can we not give thanks to ALL public service personnel and leave it at that? That was the point, it just chose to focus on firefighters. Next year, maybe it should focus on the people who prepare food and sweep floors in the hospital. They are extremely important too, right? They should be sure to detail how many meals and how many floors were swept, ya know, to be 100% accurate!

  • WDW2006 Dec 26, 2007

    Thanks to everyone who worked to keep our communities safe, not only during the holidays, but every day!

  • abcdefg Dec 26, 2007

    I worked Christmas. I did not make the news. But I did get to eat a lot of free food!

  • lawpirate is still around Dec 26, 2007

    No Steve, I just don't care about the errors you found. It's a story about firefighters pulling together as a family and celebrating the season. It's not a story about how many calls any certain firehouse goes on or how your tax dollars are being (mis)spent. Yes I would like my newsworth news to be accurate, but I still wouldn't trust just one source for it either.

  • Steve Crisp Dec 26, 2007

    So if I'm reading this correctly, the three or four of you who take exception to the pointing out of errors just don't care? You don't care that there are material mistakes in the story? Completely false information? So false that it should have been intuitive that it was completely wrong from the start? And that says nothing to you that if something that obvious is wrong, that the rest of the story is completely called into question as well?

    There are two stories working now where both of them have significant erros. This one may not matter to any of you. but what about the one on the biolab? Don't you have any problem with those major mistakes?

    Again, if there are errors so glaring that get by and remain uncorrected, how can you trust anything? And if you can't, then why bother watching the news? Or are we now getting into the realm of bias -- you watch because the errors just reinforce what you already believe even if that belief is totally wrong.

  • The ORIGINAL ladybug Dec 26, 2007

    Well said spotted horse rider and lawpirate. Couldn't have said it better myself!

  • spotted horse rider Dec 26, 2007

    You folks slay me. . . you are like a bunch of kids fighting over one piece of candy. No, it didn't mention the RPD or the EMT's or the hospital workers or the State workers or mall workers or anybody else. It was a story, a simple story about a group of firefighters, not a technical report filled with statistics around which the yearly budget will be based. For crying out loud people, get a life!

  • Steve Crisp Dec 26, 2007

    Because accuracy in the news is vitally important. It goes to forming public opinion which in turn drives the outcomes of elections and the demands placed on those in office.

    Whey you have a story like this where it seems that fire was pretty much sitting around doing nothing, and where police were barely mentioned and EMS totally forgotten, you set up in the public mind that we are potentially overpaying, overstaffing, and oversupplying our fire departments with equipment.

    Then you have the morale issue to think about. How would you feel if you were a firefighter who was run ragged yesterday and the news reported that you just took it easy all day long?

  • cj Dec 26, 2007

    Why do you have to pick apart every story? Can't you just say - good for you!