First responders spend Christmas Day working

Updated: Dec. 25, 2019 at 7:02 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Many people spent time with their family, loved ones or just enjoying a good meal on Christmas. Others had to clock in and work the Christmas holiday to protect and serve their communities.

Byram officer Johnny Wells is one who spent Christmas patrolling the neighborhoods and businesses to make sure the city is quiet and safe.

“It is a 365, seven days a week, 24 hours a day and then it is not just police, but dispatchers are also away from their families. You know we all make a sacrifice,” said Wells.

Over in Jackson, Lt. Steven Wood with the Jackson Fire Department is also spending this holiday with his firefighter family as he waits for the next call.

"At the Jackson Fire Department, we are always ready. We may be sitting around the fire station fellowshipping, but as soon as the alarm goes off, we are there to answer the call and provide the service to make the city and visitors feel safe,” Said Wood.

A few miles away, Donnie Watson with American Medical Response has worked on Christmas Day for at least 15 years. Watson says anything can happen on a holiday and he and his team are ready to help.

"We do get the occasional cardiac arrest, difficulty breathing, but it has been a great day today," said Donnie Watson, AMR operation supervisor.

These employees say instead of having the holiday blues because they are working on Christmas, they usually help sponsor employee dinners or celebrate with their families on Christmas Eve.

“Yeah, I woke the family up around 4 o’clock this morning and everyone was sleepy and I told them that daddy had to go to work. They understood and we will spend time after work,” said Watson.

Other employees say they are just happy to have a job and they enjoy the holiday pay.

“Making a little more money is always good. I think people give working on a holiday a bad rap, but somebody has to do it and there’s a positive every negative," said Wells.

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