first responders

First Responders Talk About Working the Holidays

“I want to be out here helping my community so that they can enjoy their Christmas and their holiday season without incident. If they need us, we’re always going to be there"

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Health professionals, firefighters, police and other emergency responders are always on the job, even on Christmas.

Many actually volunteer to work the holiday to give their coworkers a break. 

“I don’t have kids, so I try to work these holidays so other people can stay home,” said Montgomery County Police Department Sgt. Chad Bleggi. 

Many first responders and others who work Christmas Day said they really appreciate the kind gesture of a holiday meal. 

In Alexandria, firefighters got a special dinner delivery from one of their own. 

D.C. Firefighter Jonathan Tate founded a nonprofit called Food on the Stove. It aims to increase awareness of healthy eating and wellness practices within the fire service, and ultimately to help prevent illnesses such as heart disease. 

“While there’s a lot of good meals, they’re not necessarily good for you,” Tate said about common firehouse food. 

Kind gestures like a meal or a thank-you are appreciated by those who respond to emergencies on Christmas. 

Officer Kevin Gehr of the Fairfax County Police Department said he wants to help the public.

“I want to be out here helping my community so that they can enjoy their Christmas and their holiday season without incident. If they need us, we’re always going to be there,” he said. 

First responders get few calls during the day on Christmas, the departments said, and then calls ramp up at night. 

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