Emergency Workers Spend Christmas On the Job

Many stores, restaurants and other businesses along the coast were closed on Christmas Day so that employees could enjoy the time at home with their families. However, not everyone had that luxury.

Some emergency personnel like police officers, firefighters and paramedics spent holiday at work For dispatchers at the Gulfport Police Department, Christmas means another day at work.

Amy Johnson says she and her co-workers need to be on the job because accidents and crime don't necessarily stop to take a holiday.

"Just because we want to take the day off or everybody else doesn't mean the things that happen," said Johnson "The accidents [and] the alarms that go off aren't going to stop because it's Christmas."

Christmas means a vacation day for many people but for police, firefighters and ambulance workers, it's a different story. They are the ones people depend on to be there should something go wrong which means being away from their own families.

Emergency workers say it wasn't like they didn't know what they were getting themselves into.

Capt. Grady Mayo of the Gautier Fire Department said "It's part of the commitment when you take this kind of job. You know you gonna be away from home on holidays, birthdays and anniversaries and all the things. This job says you can't do it cause people need us."

"Someone has to be out here doing the job and I picked to it," said Keith Pellerin of Acadian Ambulance Serve. "It's definitely worth the sacrifice. I love what I do and that's the only reason I'm here."

The workers say having jobs they love makes working on Christmas a lot easier.

by Danielle Thomas