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Firefighters working on Christmas find balance in being away from families

<i>KCNC</i><br/>Several frontline workers aren’t able to spend Christmas Day with their families.
Several frontline workers aren’t able to spend Christmas Day with their families.

By Marissa Armas

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    DENVER (KCNC) — While many people get to spend Christmas Day with their families, several frontline workers aren’t able to. On Saturday, CBS4 spent the day with Denver Fire Department station #23 to see what it’s like for the crew during the holidays. Fire station #23 is one of the busiest in the city.

For many firefighters, being away on Christmas is hard, but it’s even harder for their families.

“Not having dad around on Christmas is not great, but I think they’re use to it at this point,” said Brad Nerger, a lieutenant with station.

For this station, it means spending the holiday with their fire family, taking care of normal duties, like cleaning equipment and the fire trucks.

“They are home without us, but we’re here with our fire families,” said Lt. Ken Inglee. “It’s been a little quieter than normal. We haven’t had as many runs today, which is a good thing, so we’ve had a little more downtime than normal.”

Having some downtime a holiday means maybe watching a little football or getting to make a special Christmas meal.

“We cook our own meals here. We do lunch and dinner, and we take a lot of pride in what we eat, especially on holidays,” Inglee said.

A slow holiday isn’t a bad thing.

“When we’re not busy it means people are okay. They’re not having emergencies,” Nerger said.

When a call does come in, this fire family is out the door.

“It’s a great house to be at, a great neighborhood to work in,” said Nerger. “I love this job.”

Because holiday or not, these firefighters said helping the Denver community is what they signed up to do, even if it means sometimes being away on Christmas.

“I’m lucky to have this job. I’m glad to be here,” said Inglee. “On the holidays when we need to sacrifice a little, I’m willing to do that, for the job that I have and for the guys I work with and the citizens that we serve.”

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