Story by WVUA 23’s Julia Smith.

Throughout the nation on Monday, people took time to recognize the individuals that risk their lives to serve their community every day. Tuscaloosa celebrated its first responders and their families at the second annual Firefighter Appreciation Banquet at the Tuscaloosa River Market.

“First responders go above and beyond and don’t like to be thanked or be in the spotlight, but we do need recognize our first responders,” Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith said.

University of Alabama Junior Nathaniel Dailey is thankful for the first responders who helped his family when they suffered a house fire in 2011.

“Not only were the first responders good at responding, but they were there after the fact just following up with support and just checking up on us,” Dailey said.

The Tuscaloosa fire department holds fire expos every year to educate the community on fire safety. The department enjoys what they do every day and will continue to protect and serve the community.

“No one in the role of first responder does it for the money or recognition, but the thanks does feel good,” Northport firefighter Jason Norris said.

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