Mansaota Flooring handed out 500 turkeys to first responders on Dec. 19.
Giving back to those who give to you is the reason Manasota Flooring handed out 500 turkeys to first responders on Dec. 18.
"It's a thankless job. They're always putting their lives on the line, whether it be a police officer, firefighters or EMS. I think a lot of times we take that for granted and we don't stop and think about them," said Chris Quattlebaum, general manager of Manasota Flooring. "It's just it's a small token of appreciation for them."
Quattlebaum knows first hand what it means to be a first responder. He was a Bradenton firefighter in the late 1980s, which is part of the reason the flooring company began giving out turkeys three years ago.
Through its three locations in Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice, Quattlebaum estimates that 300 first responders picked up one of the 12-15 pound turkeys on Wednesday.
Many officers will pick up several to bring the others back to the office for those who are unable to get away, he said. But one thing is certain, the company has never had any leftovers, Quattlebaum said.
Col. Dwayne Dension of Manatee County Sheriffs department, joined Manasota Flooring to help pass out turkeys. He said that having a business partner like the flooring company give back to first responders is refreshing for the area.
But while the first responders are thankful, Denison joked that it's the spouses who are probably most thankful since it's one less thing to check off their holiday to-do list.
The day provides a sense of community for many of the officers, Assistant EMS Chief of Operations of Manatee County Fire Rescue Larry Luh said he picked up turkeys from Manasota Flooring in 2017 after one of the paramedics in his unit died. The unit came together to hold a dinner in the paramedics honor, which he said was made possible by Manasota Flooring.
"Anytime community partners and businesses can give back and appreciate what the first responders are doing in the community it makes the community whole. It makes it tighter," Luh said. "It makes the community more like a family."