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      Labor Day for Amarillo Fire Station #9

      Labor Day is like any other day at Amarillo Fire Station #9: it's all cutting up and picking on the rookie until the bell goes off.

      According to Rookie Firefighter Eric "Lucky" Munday, holidays are slower than other days throughout the year, but the guys stay on their toes just in case.

      "We're prepared for anything that should or could happen," he said. "We don't have extra guys on red flag standby. It's not a red flag day. We're ready for anything that could happen."

      The firefighters were called out several times by Monday afternoon, but none for grassfires, which was a blessing considering the track record of the Panhandle over the past few months. Munday offered some tips for those who were cooking out over the Labor Day holiday.

      "If you have an open barbeque grill, be sure you keep the lid closed most of the time. Always watch it, have a garden hose ready in case amber catches the grass on fire. Just be prepared and don't leave the grill unattended. If you're going to leave it unattended, make sure it's cold."

      Station #9 did get two Labor Day Treats: free food courtesy of the Olive Garden Hospitaliano and cookies from a citizen who was visited by the firefighters in August.

      Frances Lee called the fire department when she thought she had an electrical fire in her apartment. The firefighters who responded made a lasting impression on Lee and she wanted to personally thank them for what they do every day.

      "They're really great guys and we don't thank them enough," she said. "They put their lives on the line and are the first ones there."