First responders spend holidays keeping the local community safe

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – First responders already make so many sacrifices to serve their communities and that includes working on holidays.

For the crew at Columbus Division of Fire Station 6, working on a holiday doesn’t phase them. They’re committed to protecting the public and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Second generation firefighter John Cannell remembers holidays without his father growing up.

“That’s just what dad did, you know?” said Cannell. “Him and my mom told me he was out protecting people, fighting fires and helping them when they’re in need.”

That passion for public service was passed down to Cannell, who’s working his first Christmas shift today.

“When you go on a call it’s that person’s worst day, so you’ve got to be there no matter what the day is,” he said.

Even when that day is the 25th of December.

“My wife’s sugar just dropped and thankfully we just called and they came, got it up,” said a patient’s husband Jeff Woods. “I’m glad they’re here, glad they do what they do.”

While we enjoy the holiday season, first responders are on duty making sure we’re all safe.

“It’s never a dull moment here,” said firefighter Scott Benjamin.

Benjamin is also a second generation firefighter. He said Station 6 was the busiest engine in the City of Columbus last year and that doesn’t change on the holidays.

“I would say on average 13-14 runs for the medic and probably about the same for the engine here,” said Benjamin. “The group of guys is great, that you work with, become family.”

He said missing out on the holidays can be tough.

“Five o’clock this morning up with my two boys… Mommy doing the Christmas thing, then coming in here. It’s hard to go away after they’ve opened all their presents,” said Benjamin.

But, it’s part of the sacrifice Benjmain and countless other first responders take on to serve our communities.

“It’s all I’ve wanted to do is be a firefighter, so that makes it a little easier coming to work when you enjoy what you do,” he said. “When they’re having their worst day and we’re the ones to come fix it and make it better for them, that’s always a feeling of satisfaction and gratifying to do.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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