No holiday for emergency services workers

YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- Now that Christmas Day has arrived and the presents have been placed under the tree, Santa Claus can sit back and relax. Matters of life and death don't take a holiday though, and neither do the men and women who devote their lives to saving others in an emergency.

Goodwill Fire chief Nate Tracy said "I think when you're in a position like this, you feel pretty obligated to make sure at least some of you are available at any one time."

When they're not responding to a call, the volunteers at Goodwill Fire find other chores to occupy their time.

"When you're in a volunteer department, you can't really force people to be around, but when people take administrative or operations positions they understand they have an obligation," Tracey said.

It may be difficult to get volunteer fire fighters to walk out on their families on Christmas, but for many emergency services workers like the paramedics at White Rose Ambulance, they have no choice .

White Rose Ambulance field supervisor paramedic Graeme Monger said "it's just like any other day, however we brought in dinner, all of the crews kind of chipped in. Some people brought dessert, I'm bringing in a ham later. People are bringing in side dishes, drinks, pretty much everything you'd get at home."

While being at work on the holiday isn't exactly the same as being at home, that doesn't mean crews won't be home for Christmas.

"I was at home. We opened up gifts this morning, so to come down for a little while and help out and make sure that the community is protected means a lot to all of us that are in this, being a volunteer," Tracey said.

"We work Christmas around the work schedule, so last night I went to my girlfriend's house. We did Christmas with her parents, and then as soon as I get off work we're going to go home and do Christmas with them. It still feels like Christmas to me." Monger said.