Many may not realize that firefighters have to pay for their own meals while working a shift at a station. Generally, those on duty take turns shopping and cooking.
“While many of us are celebrating Thanksgiving with family, our firefighters are on call,” said Joanna Curtis past American Legion Auxiliary president. “And then I learned not only are they on call, but they have to pay for their own meals. It just didn’t seem fair that they work on holidays, and then have to foot the bill on top of it.”
Last year for Thanksgiving, the auxiliary bought gift cards to Ralphs grocery story for Station 69 (Sunset and Carey) and to Von’s grocery story (Sunset and Los Liones) for Station 23. This year the group voted to once again donate grocery cards to be used towards a Thanksgiving meal.
Members stopped by Station 23 on November 2 to deliver the card and the firefighters were thankful for the gift. The C-shift will be working Thanksgiving Day and that crew came out to greet members of the auxiliary. When asked who will be cooking, they said, “We all take turns.”
Asked if they had advice for residents for the November holiday the response was quick, “don’t deep fry your turkey in the house.”
Auxiliary members were also told, “We have many patio fires because of deep frying.”
With the change of time and cooler weather, the firefighters also recommended cleaning heaters before starting them, checking smoke detectors and remembering to open the flue before building a fire in the fireplace.
Next, auxiliary members went to Station 69, and were invited in the kitchen, as one of the firefighters was preparing the evening meal. Receiving the grocery card, Captain Mike McIndoe said, “This will be great for Thanksgiving, especially with the prices now.
“Your support is much appreciated,” McIndoe said. He introduced the auxiliary members to a new member of the C-shift, Roman Vega, who was in his first month as a probationary officer.
It is rare for new staff to be assigned to Station 69, most new hires are assigned downtown. McIndoe said that there were so many new officers, and there is a policy of not assigning them to the same station, so Vega, who had previously worked at Alhambra, arrived here.
Auxiliary were told that numbers are drawn by firefighters to see who cooks that day, and “it’s the highest number,” and then the person goes back to zero, so they don’t immediately end up cooking again.
Station 69 firefighters, who will be eating at the firehouse on Thanksgiving, also warned “Be careful if you are frying turkeys.”
There were also reminders about checking smoke detectors, because there had been a residential fire in Brentwood that had resulted in a fatality.
Also, with December holidays rapidly approaching, “Remember to water your Christmas trees,” they said.
Auxiliary members know that many of the first responders are also veterans, so this seemed like a good way to show appreciation and express thanks for their service.
There are three shifts assigned to each fire station and the C-shift will be working on November 25.