First responders answer the call on Thanksgiving

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 6:39 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Emergencies don’t stop on holidays and neither do first responders.

“I wouldn’t say it’s any different,” Colton Conrad, a firefighter with Panama City Beach Fire Rescue, said.

However, being away from home can be difficult for a day meant to be spent with loved ones.

“As far as the sacrifices that we make, as far as being away from our family goes, that’s the hard part about it,” Conrad said.

The firefighter is the father of an 18-month-old.

It’s not the first time Conrad had to answer to the call of duty while leaving his wife and son at home on Thanksgiving. “That’s kind of hard,” he said. “It’s his second Thanksgiving and [I’m] away from him this Thanksgiving. I believe I was away from him last Thanksgiving as well, so that’s definitely tough.”

He said his team members make things a bit easier, though.

“Well we live a third of the year together, so we obviously create those bonds throughout that time and we kind of treat each other like brothers and sisters as it is,” Conrad said.

It’s not just the hectic environments that bond his team together. It’s every day.

Conrad said working on Thanksgiving isn’t all work and no play.

Fire station members and their families got the chance to share a Thanksgiving meal together Thursday afternoon.