BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - Typically firefighter families are allowed to join loved ones at the station for the holidays. However, this year because of COVID-19 departments across the state have changed their rules. Action News Now spoke to some local departments about what is different for them.
"Always been a tradition in the fire service that families come over and they will hangout with their husbands or wives at the station and our firefighters don't get the opportunity to do that this year," said Chief Steve Standridge:
Chico Fire Chief Steve Standridge says between being on fires all summer and working overtimes to cover for people because COVID-19, it's been a lot for their staff.
Battalion Chief Jim Lucanic says they're also getting used to new precautions of wearing masks in their vehicles and stations, and now social distancing for meals. That was also a change with Thanksgiving dinner.
Both men say even though working holidays is something that comes with the job, they are proud of how their staff is adapting.
"They are sticking through it, they are exhausted you can tell they are exhausted, but they are not complaining they are doing their jobs and it is pretty awesome," said Battalion Chief Jim Lucanic.
It's not just Chico Fire making that change this year. Butte County Cal Fire Captain John Gaddie says they also usually have family or friends join for holiday meals when they are working.
"However, this being 2020 and COVID we have direction from out Unit Chief that we have no visitors and that includes family and friends," said John Gaddie.
Gaddie says their Unit Chief said if family wants to come drop something off in the front yard that is fine, but they can't stay at the station.
"It is something that comes with our jobs, any essential workers who need to be on duty to provide that service to the public so we understand it is tough, but we are there to do a job," said Gaddie.
Gaddie, Standridge, and Lucanic said it's all essential workers who are giving up this time with family to serve the public, and they are thankful for everyone doing so.
Chico Fire Department also confirmed they have not had any new COVID-19 positive test results.
Chief Standridge says they are just waiting on one test result now.