December 6, 2002

Vanderbilt nurses feed Nashville’s emergency workers Thanksgiving meal

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Members of the Meridian Avenue Firehall in Nashville line up to enjoy the food prepared by the Vanderbilt volunteers on Thanksgiving. More than 600 emergency workers were fed during the day.

Richan Groves, wife of Dr. Jay Groves, volunteered at the event.

Richan Groves, wife of Dr. Jay Groves, volunteered at the event.

More than 200 Vanderbilt volunteers and their friends and families combined to serve 600 Nashville “heroes,” the men and women who work in emergency services, on Thanksgiving.

The volunteer teams planned and cooked the meal for all of Davidson County’s police officers, firefighters, and EMT personnel on duty that day. The dinners were held in each of the 39 firehalls, and the police officers and EMTs were invited to their closest sector to join the firefighters.

The Vanderbilt Police Department employees on duty that day also had dinner at the firehall. “It was a great event,” said Marlee Crankshaw, case manager in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the event’s organizer. “I think the volunteers got a lot more out of it than the hungry heroes.

“After the tragedy on Sept. 11 we all realized how precious lives can be, and that every day police officers, fire fighters and EMT’s put their lives on the line for us.”

The volunteer team at the Gallatin Road firehall wrote in an e-mail to Crankshaw: “The men were so touched and so excited to have us there. They made us stay and eat with them, and one of the men who has been a firefighter for 30 years had us all gather in a circle while he said the blessing. We had heaps of food and it was a great experience all the way around.”

The men and women on duty that day appreciated the effort, according to the volunteers. “Thanks for a wonderful dinner. It made working on the holiday a little more tolerable knowing there are folks out there who are thankful for our efforts,” said EMT Neil Pierson.