Firefighters talk a lot about the bonds they share with their co-workers, and it’s not unusual to hear those relationships described as being “like family.”
In many cases, they actually are family: At the Skyland department alone, 18 employees are related to at least one other employee, according to Deputy Chief Ryan Cole. “We’ve got two husbands and wives. I think two fathers, sons. We’ve got two brothers, I think. We’ve got several cousins.” He estimates that another 25 are related to people serving at other departments.