Christmas Day at Fire Station 1 in Farmers Branch usually means cooking up a big pot of chili to replace the meal they'll be missing at home.
“You do Christmas with family the day before,” explained Lt. Daniel Latimer.
Spending Christmas at the fire station is just part of being a first responder, Latimer said.
But there was one group this holiday who wanted to make sure our first responders were not forgotten.
“They don't get the day off, so it's our way to serve them,” said volunteer Victoria Bush.
At a Denton church Christmas morning, about 80 volunteers packed up meals to deliver to 126 police and fire stations throughout DFW.
“I'm an ex-first responder and I've spent a lot of Christmas days eating nothing but a convenience store hot dog, and it stinks,” said Jim Searles, who founded the organization behind it all, “Feed-A-Hero.”
“First, you're away from your families and then you don't even get a great meal out of it, and that's what started it all,” he said.
The firefighters in Farmers Branch were among the grateful recipients.
“They came by this morning about 9:30 or 10” with brisket, sides and desserts, Latimer said. “For them to take time out to come bring us food is very thoughtful of them.”
The group says last year they fed about 450 first responders. This year on Christmas, they fed 1,500. Next year, they say, they're going a bit bigger. They want to feed 4,000.
“By 2020, we want to be feeding every police and every fire in the Metroplex,” Searles said.
“That is pretty wild,” Latimer said of the plan. “That is a lot of firefighters. We eat a lot of food.”
But it's more than food; it's a heaping helping of the Christmas spirit.