Local News

Firefighters and their families celebrate Christmas

Posted December 25, 2008
Updated March 9, 2009

— On Christmas night, Raleigh's Fire Station 1 was the back drop for a holiday celebration. On-duty firefighters invited their families to spend time with them at the 220 South Dawson St. facility.

The firefighters cooked up a fest that included "spiral ham, string bean casserole, potato casserole,” Capt. Chris Wilson said.

Firefighters spend Christmas with family at station Firefighters spend Christmas with family at station

The firefighters say they treat Christmas as just another day on the job – but one seasoned with cooking.

"I will let you try some and you can be the judge,” Capt. Bill Melina said of his holiday dishes.

The firefighters came on duty at 8 a.m. Thursday for a 24 hour shift.

“My family has made a lot of sacrifices,” Bill Melina said.

Melina's wife and two daughters came out for the Christmas celebration. His parents also traveled up from Florida to be at the fire station.

Tony Melina, Bill's father, was a firefighter in New Jersey 30 years ago.

"A real firefighter, a true firefighter doesn't see it as sacrifice, he sees it as a helpful hand,” Tony Melina said.

Christmas Day 2008 was a relatively quiet day for firefighters with no major calls in downtown Raleigh.

Instead of exchanging gifts between one another this Christmas, the firefighters adopted a needy family and gave to them.


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  • GALNC Dec 26, 2008

    Police and EMS also work on this day and respond to calls all day long working the same 24 hour shifts. To all personnel..thanks for all that you do and for working on the holidays versus being with your family.

  • wcnc Dec 26, 2008

    I know the firefighters are very thankful to be in a job where their family can come and eat and hang out on a holiday such as Christmas. There are others, namely LEO's, who have no office or station to eat meals at. They are on the road the whole holiday, and their families make do without a visit or a meal with their loved one.

    Thank you, though, to ALL in careers where they have to work on Christmas!

  • superman Dec 26, 2008

    Super guys. We appreciate the job that you do and the sacrifices you make. People often just think of the military guys as missing out on Christmas with their family. There are so many people that cannot be home with their family. Military, police, health care, EMT-- and the list goes on. Makes me angry when I read and hear about the poor military guys cant be home for Christmas. Just like they the only group in the whole world with that situation.