HEMSI first responders deal with “A bad day in Madison County” this Thanksgiving

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- For first responders in Madison County, this Thanksgiving proved to be hard to find cheer.

"We have had a bad day in Madison County," Jim Barnette is a shift supervisor with HEMSI. "We have had several accidents involving some fatalities, just because it is a holiday, medical emergencies don't stop," he said.

HEMSI responded to two fatal wrecks within hours of each other and Barnette says they worked other calls this Thanksgiving that makes it difficult for them to remain thankful.

"It's a tough job, especially when we have tragic accidents during the holiday season , those of us who have kids or family member it does hit home," Barnette added.

First responders are used to dealing with tragedy, but this day proved to be extra bad.

But for emergency workers like Barnette, the job is something that despite the pain, they are thankful for.

"I am thankful I am here and put on this earth to help people when they are in need."

This Thanksgiving, be thankful for your family, your community and for people like Barnette, who don't stop just because the rest of us get to.

Did You Know?

HEMSI serves 350,000+ residents in 800+ square miles.

HEMSI is Madison County's not-for-profit emergency medical services provider and is nationally recognized for high-performance services.

They have 220 dedicated employees, with 13 stations to serve the community.

HEMSI workers respond to more than 50,000 calls per year.