West Palm Beach firefighters spend Thanksgiving away from families, keeping Florida community safe

Firefighters rely on one another during holidays

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- - While many people enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with family on Thursday, there was a group of people who did not get to enjoy that luxury.

West Palm Beach Firefighters at Station 2 were among the first responders who spent the holiday at work.

"For us, we have a duty. Our duty is to the citizens. And we're not going to try to get out of it," said Captain Brent Bloomfield.

The fire department is open 365 days a year. Firefighters are waiting to spring into action no matter how dangerous or difficult the call and no matter what day it is.    

When dispatched, it is hard for Bloomfield during the holidays to not think about his wife and son.
"You kind of think, is it somebody I know? Is it somebody I care about. You know plus it's Thanksgiving, so there's the family aspect," said Bloomfield.

But there are also the moments when family show up at the station.

"It definitely lifts my spirits to see them come by, to see the kids run around the station. You know sad to see them leave," said Demo Villalobos of the West Palm Beach Fire Department.

When family leaves, that is when firefighters rely on each other. They eat together, work together and miss holidays together all as one.

"Obviously I'd like to be at home with family, but being here at the fire department spending it with my second family is the next best thing," said Villalobos.

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