Cameron Peters/News Crew 2 firefighters practice pulling an injured fireman up a set of stairs at the fire station on Monday, Dec 2, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News

Crew 2 firefighters practice pulling an injured fireman up a set of stairs at the fire station on Monday, Dec 2, 2019.

Over the course of a few days in November and December, I had the privilege of documenting the three crews that make up the Mount Vernon Fire and EMS Department.

“The most important attribute of a firefighter is the willingness to put service above self to complete any given task. Firefighters have to be problem solvers with the ability to make critical decision in the height of tense situations.

Chief Chad Christopher

During that time, I witnessed firsthand the family-like community that makes up this unique work environment where each crew works 24-hour at a time. I got to witness not only how they maintain their equipment, and train for all possible contingencies, but also see them in action.

Their deep care for the community was evident, their service going above and beyond the intensity of a fire and walking into the daily lives of our everyday citizens. They are a vital pulse within this community. Fighting fires and braving the heat and dangers associated with such work is just one piece of this impact. From following up on a 911 call to take someone to the hospital, helping an elderly man or woman get up from a fall to constant preventive training, inspections, and community engagement, each team was always in constant movement around Mount Vernon.

This is why moments of calm became some of the most powerful to capture, exposing the relationships behind the skillful coordination I witnessed on emergency runs. It was a true privilege to see them in action and recognize their commitment to service that they provide in Mount Vernon.

At this holiday season, we owe them all our great appreciation and gratitude.

Cameron Peters/News Crew 3 members, Chad Chenault (left), Lt. Jay Laymon (middle), Brandon May (right) exchange a story during a moment of calm during the late afternoon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Crew 3 members, Chad Chenault (left), Lt. Jay Laymon (middle), Brandon May (right) exchange a story during a moment of calm during the late afternoon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Erick Fisher and Nathan Hines from Crew 3, walk back to their ambulance after lunch at East Elementary School in Mount Vernon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Erick Fisher and Nathan Hines from Crew 3, walk back to their ambulance after lunch at East Elementary School in Mount Vernon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Lt. Jay Laymon leads a group of students in singing “Happy Birthday” for a kindergartener at East Knox Elementary on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Lt. Jay Laymon leads a group of students in singing “Happy Birthday” for a kindergartener at East Knox Elementary on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Brandon May (right) climbs up the stairs from the basement at East Elementary School during a tour of the school, allowing the unit to become familiar and comfortable with the inside and outside of the school building in the case of an emergency.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Brandon May (right) climbs up the stairs from the basement at East Elementary School during a tour of the school, allowing the unit to become familiar and comfortable with the inside and outside of the school building in the case of an emergency.

Cameron Peters/News Lt. Jay Laymon from Crew 3 talks with students during at East Elementary School in Mount Vernon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Lt. Jay Laymon from Crew 3 talks with students during at East Elementary School in Mount Vernon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Nicholas Kidd from Crew 3 talks to a student during lunch at East Elementary School in Mount Vernon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Nicholas Kidd from Crew 3 talks to a student during lunch at East Elementary School in Mount Vernon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Lt. Jay Laymon from Crew 3 talks with students during at East Elementary School in Mount Vernon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Lt. Jay Laymon from Crew 3 talks with students during at East Elementary School in Mount Vernon on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Mount Vernon Fire Prevention Officer Terry Davis marks the fire safety features, like the number of emergency exit signs, on a building design plan on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Mount Vernon Fire Prevention Officer Terry Davis studies the fire safety features, like the visibility of emergency exit signs, on a building design plan on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Lt. Jay Laymon from Crew 3 uncoils a hose while washing down the fire station, a weekly Friday morning task on Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Lt. Jay Laymon from Crew 3 uncoils a hose while washing down the fire station, a weekly Friday morning task on Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Kyle Campbell from Crew 2 prepares to do pull-ups in the Mount Vernon Fire Station gym after lunch on Monday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Kyle Campbell from Crew 2 prepares to do pull-ups in the Mount Vernon Fire Station gym after lunch on Monday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Kyle Campbell (left) and Ben Harrod (right) from Crew 2 workout in the Mount Vernon Fire Station gym after lunch on Monday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Kyle Campbell (left) and Ben Harrod (right) from Crew 2 workout in the Mount Vernon Fire Station gym after lunch on Monday, Dec. 6, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News A view from the highest point on the ladder truck at the Mount Vernon Fire Station.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

A view from the highest point on the ladder truck at the Mount Vernon Fire Station.

Cameron Peters/News Kyle Campbell from Crew 2 pulls out a stretcher while responding to an EMS call in Mount Vernon on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Kyle Campbell from Crew 2 pulls out a stretcher while responding to an EMS call in Mount Vernon on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Chief Chad Christopher holds a crew meeting with Crew 1 about staffing and goals for the new year in the department’s classroom on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Chief Chad Christopher holds a crew meeting with Crew 1 about staffing and goals for the new year in the department’s classroom on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Chatfield Redick prepares B.E.L.T. sandwiches (Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato) for Unit 1’s lunch on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Chatfield Redick prepares B.E.L.T. sandwiches (Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato) for Unit 1’s lunch on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News Captain Joe Jurkowitz of Crew 1 sends in a report while en route to an emergency on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Captain Joe Jurkowitz of Crew 1 sends in a report while en route to an emergency on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Cameron Peters/News A painted mural of firefighters in action in the main hallway of the Mount Vernon Fire Station.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

A painted mural of firefighters in action in the main hallway of the Mount Vernon Fire Station.

Cameron Peters/News Mount Vernon Fire Prevention Officer Terry Davis inspects a fire extinguisher in a home on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Cameron Peters/Mount Vernon News

Mount Vernon Fire Prevention Officer Terry Davis inspects a fire extinguisher in a home on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

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