Opelika, Alabama — It'd be easy to think Opelika, Alabama is a sleepy southern town, until you meet the sleep deprived firefighters of Fire Station 1. Seven firefighters have had babies born in the last four months, and most are first-time fathers.
With four boys and three girls, conversations have changed from hoses to highchairs. The running joke is, don't drink the water at the station.
"Everybody asked, was it a pact. Actually nobody even talked about it," said Blake Smith.
Some of the dads are already back at work and have a new perspective on the calls they respond to.
"I'm a lot more empathetic about somebody else's child than I used to be prior to having my son," said Peter Martin.
It's a striking difference from the men Chief Byron Prather first hired.
"They have a lot of responsibility already and I think with this responsibility here it will make them better people and make them better people," he said.
The people of Opelika are sharing in the excitement, as both mom and dad learn their new roles.
"Everybody's going through the same, so it's cool to have a huge support system," said Amanda Swatt.
Fighting fires may have brought these men together, but raising babies will bond their families for life.