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For Some in Scarsdale, Another Day at the Office

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – When many Scarsdale residents are sitting down to a plate of juicy turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce and more, John Savarese will be at work as usual. So will about 10 of his fellow firefighters who will show up for work to make sure the rest of the village is kept safe.

Firefighters are among the groups of people for whom Thanksgiving and other holidays don't necessarily mean a day off to celebrate with family and friends. For many police officers, health workers, toll takers, gas station and convenience store workers, even some retail employees, Thursday will be business as usual.

"I have no choice," said Savarese, a 27-year veteran of the department. "If your schedule falls on that day, you work. It's not a situation where the younger guys have to work. If a senior guy gets stuck, he gets stuck."

Savarese said they usually have lunch during the day shift – 7:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. – and the firefighters all chip in to buy the food.

"Someone goes shopping," he said, and someone cooks the meal. "Usually we invite the police over to eat."

But that doesn't mean none of them get to do the big sit-down meal at home.

"Guys working the day shift go home and eat, and the guys coming on the night shift usually eat first," he said of the rescue workers who are on from 5:45 p.m. to 7:45 a.m.

Azmal Chowdhury said he'll probably work part of the day at the Shell gasoline station at Post Road and Popham Avenue. He had he'll "probably have turkey" when he goes home when the station closes. Holiday hours are 7 a.m. to "about 6:30 p.m.," he said.

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