Heroes at work. Heroes at home. Both work.
Erica and David Frazier have their hands and arms full – literally. In May 2019, three little girls joined their family – triplets Everly, Kensy and Molly. Their already busy lives quickly morphed to extremely busy.
The Fraziers are a husband-wife team at the Knoxville Fire Department’s Station 1 downtown. When you consider their schedules there, it becomes clear just how busy they are. Capt. David Frazier’s rig is Engine 1 on the Red shift. Erica, a master firefighter, drives the biggest rig in the station – Ladder 1 – on the Green shift. Translated, they never work at the same time.
When she’s working, he’s at home with the girls. When he works, she’s managing things at their Maryville home.
Or as KFD Public Information Officer Capt. D.J. Corcoran says: “… It’s interesting how they have to tag team in order to work their 24-hour shifts and take care of three babies at the same time. Makes me tired just thinking of it.”
Erica has been at KFD for 12 years and David for 21.
When someone mentions their busy lives and the girls, David’s reply is always the same: “Children are a blessing from God, so we are triple blessed!”
Their girls are now 16-months-old and as you can imagine their home is one big playground filled with feedings, multiple diaper changes, naps and baths – and play time. Their Brittany Spaniel, Murphy, loves the girls as does the cat named Kitty. Erica also is the caregiver for her mother, 74, who lives with them in a basement apartment and has Alzheimer’s.
“They are really developing their personalities and they’re all different,” Erica says. “About as different as they look.” Everly is a brunette, Kensy a redhead and Molly a blonde. The girls were born seven weeks premature at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and then transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Erica spent five weeks on bed rest before they were born.
The girls collectively weighed 12 pounds, 3 ounces at birth. Everly weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces, Kensy 4-1 and Molly 4-4.
Erica moved here from her home in Duluth, Minnesota,12 years ago to take a job with the KFD. She comes from a firefighting family. An uncle was Duluth’s fire chief and her late father a captain. David is a native of Oak Ridge who joined KFD after being a combat medic paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg, N.C. He jumped with the 82nd into Kuwait in the first Gulf War. He is both a paramedic and an emergency medical technician (EMT).
Both talk about their KFD family, the support they have received and the flexibility the department has given them. “The KFD is a well-connected family and everyone has been very understanding and helpful for us,” Erica says.
What surprised them the most is the support and help from Rio Revolution Church. “We’d not even been going to the church for very long and we’d not had time to build up any equity there yet, but when we asked for a little help, wow, did we get it,” David explained.
During the triplet’s first six months, 10 church members came to help, two a day, rotating their days, and took care of the laundry, hand-feeding the girls their bottles, cleaning the house, cooking, and even doing grocery shopping. “We could not have done it all without our church family,” Erica said. “These girls have about 10 grandmothers.”
They are lucky triplets with three families – KFD, Rio Revolution and Mom and Dad.
“We’re all blessed,” David said. “Happy and blessed is fun.”
Tom King has served at newspapers in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and California and has been the editor of two newspapers. He writes this Monday column – Our Town Heroes –for KnoxTNToday.com. Suggest future stories at email@example.com or call him at 865-659-3562.