Family spends Thanksgiving with Charleston first responder at work

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 11:03 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2021 at 12:08 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - For one Charleston city firefighter, his family was able to make his holiday at work special.

“I’ve been relatively lucky not to have to work a lot of Christmases and Thanksgivings,” Sam Scougale, an engineer with the City of Charleston Fire Department for 12 years, said.

He spent Thanksgiving shooting hoops with his son.

“He beat me. He’s the athlete in the house,” Scougale said.

While many get the chance to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday spent with family and friends, firefighters, police officers, hospital workers and some retail workers do not have that luxury.

So Scougale’s family came to see him while he was working at Station 19.

“We know well in advance every holiday that they’re going to be working. Depending on what shift they’re going to be working, we just adjust,” Sam’s wife, Keri, said. “There are a lot of other people working today. They aren’t going to be able to be with their family.”

Scougale said he knows he’s not the only one who had to put in hours on Thanksgiving. and said he is grateful his family was able to be with him, even while at work.

“All of the wonderful guys put together a great dinner. So we’re looking forward to spending the holiday with them. They’re our family away from family,” Keri said.

Scougale said working the holidays isn’t always the best.

“We do have to be here for 24 hours. So, it’s probably a little bit different, and we may not get a lot of sleep from time to time,” Scougale said, adding that remembering the reason why he does his job makes all the difference. “We appreciate the fact that when people see us on the street they thank us for our service.”

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