After returning from the scene of an accident Thursday evening, firefighters at the Ardmore Fire Department began breaking out the ham and stuffing.

As a long-standing tradition among many fire departments, the three stations in the Ardmore area came together to share a Thanksgiving meal while working the holiday.

“It’s just the way we’ve always done it and every station does it. We always talk about how this is kind of like our second family, we spend all day together and we do this at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said shift commander Rhett Hale.

Each firefighter brings a dish from home and whether its pre-made by a spouse or something they cook at the department, there is plenty of food for everyone.

While it can sometimes be difficult to be away from loved ones, after many years at the fire department, Hale said he and others have gotten used to working on the holidays.

“It’s just a part of the job,” Hale said. “You still want to be able to celebrate the holidays and when you can’t be with your family, where everybody would obviously prefer to be, we just do it up here.”

This year was one of the first for firefighters Cade Webb, Ethan Dixon and Dallas Scribner spent away from their families.

However, the three said adjusting their schedules wasn’t a problem. Like many others, Dixon said his family celebrated Thanksgiving early and has other celebration plans this weekend.

The department’s Thanksgiving meal between shifts is an extra opportunity to enjoy good food and helps make time away from loved ones more enjoyable, Dixon said.

“It’s actually pretty fun working on the holiday — not being away from your family — but there’s still fun moments spending time with everybody,” Dixon said.

“It’s not too bad really, everybody’s having a good time. We still get to eat good, we’re just eating later now that we got a call,” Webb added.

Prior to the accident off of Sam Noble Parkway around 1 p.m., Hale said it had been a rather quiet morning. There is sometimes an increase in the amount of calls on Thanksgiving due to cooking accidents where individuals are trying to deep fry their turkeys or hurry along in the kitchen, he said.

However, the Ardmore area generally remains pretty slow, Hale said. “It’s been quiet, cities like Ardmore, it’s really no different than any other day as far as the call volume, but you will see usually there are a few more fires across the state caused by frying the turkey and stuff like that.”