The tight-knit group of 33 firefighters had six babies born to them this year, all between February to June 2016. Naturally, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help spread Christmas cheer around the community with their little faces.
“Every year my wife and I put together a Christmas card we send out to different businesses in the city that have helped us out through the year,” chief Roger Joines told ABC News. “My wife and I were trying to decide what kind of picture we wanted to put on there. It’s usually a fire truck or the guys in front of the station. But we had 6 babies this year and my wife said, ‘Hey let’s put them on the Christmas card.’ After that, the ladies took it and they ran with it, getting them matching PJs to wear and everything.”
Before joining the fire station, engineer and paramedic Richard Parker was a professional photographer. He volunteered to take the very merry photos, but it took a village to get the babies in place.
“It made for a really great Christmas card,” Joines said. “And what better way to celebrate 6 new babies at one time. That might not be a big deal in a big place like Dallas or Houston, but 6 babies in a fire department of only 33 is a pretty special thing.”
The pictures turned out so cute that Parker submitted them to FireRescue1.com to show off their bundles of joy, where they’ve since gone viral for all the right reasons.
“In a fire department there are so many things that make up the dynamic of an engine crew, certain shift, or even the department as a whole,” he wrote in a statement along with the photos.
“Training, shift duties, trauma, medical calls, wrecks, rescues, structure fires and brush fires are some of the many things that fire departments are called to do and in many cases, tend to define who they are as a fire department," he added. "However, if you ask many of the fire fighters in Durant, OK what defines them; they will say brotherhood and family. That is why when this small paid department of 33 looked back on the year and saw that 6 of their brothers had newborn babies, it was time to show the public what was at the core of their department."
"Instead of sending out the traditional Christmas card with a photograph of the guys in front of the station, it was decided that it would be great to personalize the cards and showcase what was really important to them. Family," Joines said in the statement.
As for continuing the tradition of featuring the babies on the Christmas card?
“It would make a good throwback card when they’re all [high school] seniors to have them all on the front bumper of the truck,” Joines said with a laugh. “There’s one girl out of the group, the rest are all boys. That poor girl isn’t going to be able to do anything without this entire fire house knowing.”