The Firefighter: Generous Coronadans

Ryan Kennedy and his colleagues see many gifts flow into the station this time of year, but calls still jump as residents deal with dry trees and other mishaps.


Ryan Kennedy has noted the difference in Coronado. 

“This neighborhood seems to take care of things better than other neighborhoods,” said the 15-year veteran firefighter and paramedic, who has logged time with the El Cajon Fire Department and a private medical service.

That includes watching over firefighters. “This city is amazing around the holidays. We get cookies. We get candy. People bring us entire meals.”

Accidents happen though, , the sees call volume jump late in the year, but not necessarily because of Christmas. 

The weather contributes too, as people forget to adjust their thermostats lower, and heaters turn on automatically, igniting whatever has been stacked against them.

Here's where the holiday calls comes from: Choking victims, those who overindulge at family feasts and older people who are sometimes overwhelmed by family celebrations. 

And of course, there's the Christmas trees. Those placed too close to heaters, dry ones and those stacked with what Kennedy calls “99-cent special” strings of lights that overheat and melt. 

“When it's a Christmas tree, there's a lot of fire immediately and a lot of heat immediately,” he said. Translation: No matter how fast they get there, firefighters will not be able to prevent at least some serious damage.

His advice: Use strips to plug in lights, not extension cords, and never link any more strings than the maximum recommended by the manufacturers. Most of all, keep the tree supple and moist.


Kennedy is one of Coronado Patch's 12 People of Christmas, business people and celebrants whose work and hobbies give them a unique perspective on the holidays. Watch in the coming days as we talk to more people who offer their take on the holidays and advice for how to make it through this busy time.


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