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First Responder Friday: Spartanburg Fire Department

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – During this week’s First Responder Friday, we’re catching up with the Spartanburg Fire Department.

Like many, firefighters at Spartanburg’s Southside station spend a lot of time together. Four firefighters we spoke with say spending time outside of work makes them work better together as a team.

“I’m with these guys every third day for 24 hours,” Lt. Patrick McDaniel said. “The more we do out from work, the better we work at work together.”

You’ll find this crew away from the station a lot in those 48 hours in between shifts.

“We went fishing in northern South Carolina a month or two ago. We try to go out. We go out shopping and stuff together. We go out to eat,” Sgt. Dakota Howard said.

And that’s true with the team’s newest member Jenna Burke. She was once a sheriff’s deputy in Kentucky, patrolling on her own. Now, she’s part of a team.

“I don’t feel like I’m at work with them. I feel like I can trust them with my life. And you’re supposed to feel that way on the job at a call,” Burke said. “I can talk to them about outside things, personal things and I know it will stay between us four.”

But of course, for each of these firefighters, their priority is their families.

“My wife, she’s all for me hanging out with these guys. It could matter one day. That my life could be put on the line with these guys. She wants to know that I’ll be taken care of,” Spartanburg Fire Department’s Austin Weathersbee said.

That’s training together, and spending time bonding out of work together, to make sure they go back to their homes safe.

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