Six babies born to firefighters within months of each other at the Durant Fire Department in Oklahoma have recreated the fire station's viral 2016 Christmas card, and this year's results couldn’t be more perfect.
All the parents agreed that the babies -- Ava, Owen, Nash, Mitchell, Gus, and Brevyn –- are certainly “more mobile” this year, but it was worth the chaotic photo shoot to make this their fun “firefighter family” annual tradition.
“We’ve all talked about and I think we’re going to continue to do it each year to watch them grow,” Shembra Wilson, mom to Gus, told ABC News. “It was a lot harder this year because they’re more mobile. We’re all jumping up and down acting like morons to get the shot and they’re looking at us like, ‘What in the world?’”
Engineer and paramedic Richard Parker was a professional photographer before joining the close-knit fire station. He volunteered both years to take the very merry photos, but said this year was definitely “different” than the last.
“They were definitely more mobile and a little bit more advanced in how they felt about the subject,” Parker said of the temperamental group of 1-year-olds. “They tended to be contagious with their feelings. If one started crying, they were all crying. But it all worked out fine.”
The original Christmas card was inspired by the fact that between February and June of last year, six out of the station's 33 firefighters welcomed babies. The close-knit group said they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help spread Christmas cheer in their community with a cute card.
“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 in 2016. “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 six 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.”
They’re thrilled the tradition has continued into 2017, and that the babies will continue to have each other as friends growing up.
“The fire service is most definitely referred to a lot as a brotherhood and a family because we spend so much time doing what we do together,” said Parker. “I think it’s a challenge for the families as well at times. But for them to be able to lean on each other, it’s going to be a neat thing.”