The city of New Bedford had a crazy few days around the Thanksgiving holiday. Local police officers and firefighters handled situations and saved lives.

The reality of public safety is that it is nearly impossible to plan for an emergency. There are too many variables involved, particularly the erratic and irresponsible actions of human beings.

I love fried turkey. I have been involved in the frying of a turkey. We did it outside and everything was fine. Apparently, a person in New Bedford decided to fry a turkey and it went horribly wrong. I assume the person who fried the turkey had all of the best motives at the forefront of their mind when they set out to make a beautiful Thanksgiving meal for family and friends.

Today, 27 families have lost their possessions and the place they lived because someone did not think before they acted. Thankfully, none of the people in the three homes burned up by the enthusiastic turkey chef died. The firefighters of New Bedford raced to the scene and put down the fire. They were assisted by firefighters from Fairhaven, Dartmouth, and Acushnet on Thanksgiving morning.

The day after Thanksgiving, the city of New Bedford was invaded by a suburban teenager with a handgun and pockets full of ammunition. He allegedly murdered one man, seriously injured another man, and then attempted to murder four New Bedford police officers. Those police officers are alive today because of their training, instincts, and ability to work as a team while being shot at by a gunman. The gunman is alive to face justice because of those police officers' decisions.

Without the firefighters and police officers who serve and protect us, we would be watching houses burn down as we passed buckets of water and fighting off deranged gunmen. Give thanks.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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