First responders work during the holidays to keep you safe

First responders working on Christmas

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Most people will spend the next two days with family, friends, or loved ones. However, there are several groups that will spend that time away from their families in order to keep you safe.

Hundreds of first responders will work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ready to respond in a crisis.

“They are servants of their community and they are not going to miss a fire or someone in their community in need,” said Bill Suthard with the Huntersville Fire Department. “Families of first responders know that their family could leave at any moment and a lot of times the meal gets packed up and it’s kept safe for you.”

Bill Suthard has worked on Christmas for the past 5 years. This year he will be off.

“I feel like I will be a fish out of water. But, I will get to see some special things, my son, my wife. We will get to have a family dinner,” said Suthard.

Christmas cards and hot meals delivered to police, fire and other emergency departments help keep those working company.

“They do a pretty good job of looking out for each other and covering for each other so others can enjoy it, but it gets tough sometimes,” said Suthard.

First responders say they work to help those with families or young children to get the days off.

“I actually enjoy working the holidays. My children are grown and graduated, and I have co-workers that have younger children and it is more important for them to be with them and all,” said Don Overcash, the Operations Supervisor fir MEDIC.

Overcash has been with MEDIC for the past 35 years, many of those years working on the Holidays.

“We had to be a little flexible when it came to the holidays. If we had to celebrate the day after, or the day before, or have multiple celebrations to make it work, that is what we did,” said Overcash. “I love what I do, I always have. This has been a calling for me when I was young and still maintain that today.”

Overcash is retiring at the end of the year, so this will be his final holiday working.

“It is part of the job and that is what you have to do. You chose this lifestyle and that is unfortunately, something that comes with it," said Overcash.

The first responders that WBTV spoke all say that they are happy to do the work and appreciate the support from their communities.

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