It was a “smoked Thanksgiving turkey” that got the raves at Manteca’s Union Road fire station Thursday from family members. The cooks, however, didn’t get to eat until 9 p.m., because they were out on a series of fire and medical calls.
Two of the other three fire stations throughout the city saw firefighters working between calls to prepare Thanksgiving meals with Captain Steery McLeod’s wife Misty bringing the cooked turkey ready to placed on the station’s table with firefighters and others preparing the side dishes.
Battalion Chief Bill Canfield declared his Union Road Station cooks as being the “best” with his family, including his 26-year-old daughter Tiffany and son Matt, 24, going to the station house to share in the festive full course meal while firefighters answered numerous fire, accident and medical calls all afternoon and evening.
Misty said she had been coming to the fire department’s Thanksgiving dinners with her dad since she was 12 years old. Her mother Deanna said she still cooks at home and follows tradition — as do other firefighters’ spouses —even when their husbands are on duty.
“We are really blessed by the public,” Chief Canfield said, “with them bringing side dishes for the guys on Thanksgiving. A number of the guys had families with them and had to leave them at the table when they had to answer the sounding alarm.”
In the midst of the dinner, the station crew responded to an accident call on northbound Highway 99 at Austin Road that involved seven vehicles with front end, rear end and side damage to their vehicles. Four individuals were taken to area hospitals by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries – a series of crashes that blocked up the northbound lanes of traffic.
Union Road station cooks had served up side dishes with their smoked turkey of green beans in a casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy with a dessert of pumpkin slice cake made by firefighter Travis Bonds. For dinner Friday night, they were eating leftovers: turkey tostados.
Station No. 4 near Del Webb located on Lathrop Road had a mixed staff with the regulars off duty getting their complete meal from the Raley’s Market across the street from their station – including a turkey.
Ripon’s Fire Department Headquarters in the city’s downtown had it’s afternoon interrupted when Captain Neil Green was dispatched on the water tanker to a grass fire in Lathrop while his peers were completing the preparation of their ham dinner with firefighter Scott Sheffle turning out a homemade apple pie. Their drink of choice for the day was Martinelli’s sparkling cider, according to Battalion Chief Marty Cornilsen.
Lathrop-Manteca Fire Department Battalion Chief Larry Madoski explained that his department has four different stations with the firefighters pretty much preparing their turkey dinners and all the trimmings by themselves. One station is in Lathrop on J Street with another in the Mossdale area just west of Interstate 5 on the River Islands Parkway with their duty chief eating with the various crews. A fifth station is under construction in the River Islands subdivision on the San Joaquin River.
He noted that members of the public had been gracious by bringing in side dishes to add to their dinners.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email email@example.com.