GFR

Greenville Fire and Rescue is one of many jobs with workers who don't get a day off.

With another year’s Labor Day holiday weekend passing, City of Greenville officials and working community members took a moment to appreciate the men and women who remain on the clock so-to-say during holidays.

Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly said in an emailed statement to The East Carolinian that it’s important to recognize the workers who play a “vital” role in the city’s community and may not be getting a day off to celebrate the holiday, due to the nature of their jobs.

“Not everyone who works in public safety, healthcare or in the private sector has the ability to step away from their jobs, but the work that they perform is certainly important. It is my hope that those individuals will soon get their own opportunity to relax and enjoy time with family and friends as well,” Connelly said.

Connelly acknowledged the men and women who do get to take the Labor Day holiday off and recognized the work these individuals do. He said the holiday is a recognition of their work and the hours they spend serving the citizens of Greenville while making it “a great place to live, work and play.”

As the summer months come to a close, Connelly additionally took time to mention and appreciate the role played by Greenville’s workforce in the “prosperity of the city.”

Rebekah Thurston, Greenville Fire Rescue’s (GFR) public information officer, said the men and women who work for GFR work 365 days a year, seven days a week and operate 24 hours a day. She said GFR takes a lot of pride in serving the City of Greenville.

“We take a lot of pride in serving the city and the citizens and visitors of Greenville,” Thurston said. “We don’t take time off so that we are around when you need us (GFR). Labor Day is one of those holidays.”

Thurston said GFR is proud to serve and hopes the community members and visitors had a safe holiday weekend. She said GFR does not do its job for recognition, however, the workers are grateful when individuals choose to show their gratitude.

Sometimes city residents drop off baked goods or thank you notes for GFR’s service, Thurston said. GFR workers have a certain skill set and a duty to serve the City of Greenville through medical and fire-related services.

“I would encourage people to take a moment to be grateful for those that are serving on those holidays such as Labor Day,” Thurston said. “The police, just like fire, any of us, just like the hospital, we all work so that other people can take a day off. These aren’t the things you would want to lapse in services, no matter what day of the year it is.”

Thurston said GFR values the community in which it serves, and in the instance of an emergency or non-emergency setting, the fire department takes pride in being able to help those in the community.

On holidays, GFR celebrates in its own way by having cookouts together, according to Thurston. She said the celebration does have to stop when there is a call, but it, hopefully, gets started back up when the workers return to the station.

Jessie Harris, GFR Captain, worked yesterday during Labor Day. He said providing fire and rescue services is important for the community every day.

“You miss birthdays and Christmas and Labor Days and stuff like that, but I think it’s important for the folks who are celebrating to enjoy these holidays with their families and know there’s people there ready to take care of them if needed,” Harris said.

Harris said GFR sometimes sees an increase in community members to stop-by the station on holidays to drop off snacks, or on the occasion restaurants in Greenville will serve GFR workers a meal.

Harris said he enjoys working for GFR, and is proud to give back to the community and helping others when need be.

“To me, (working for GFR) helps out a lot in that you can just know that you have a sense of purpose and that you help others,” Harris said. “And while you have to sacrifice holidays and time at home for that there is a tremendous sense of value in being able to help others and know that you contribute to something bigger than just yourself.”

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