|Updated: 12/25/2011 10:08 pm
||Published: 12/25/2011 5:26 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - While most families are home enjoying the Christmas holiday, many people have to work to make sure the rest of us are safe.
At the Little Rock Central Fire Station, 12 firefighters on shift are celebrating even while working.
Christmas is just a typical work day for firefighters who have the same schedule of chores and tasks no matter what day of the week it is. They are here to answer the call when needed.
Despite the fact other families are celebrating Christmas on the 25th, firefighters say they celebrate early. Jonathan Walthall says this isn't his first holiday away from his family.
"We opened all presents Christmas Eve and of course Santa came last night, so I got the kids up at 5:30 this morning before I left for work."
The shift of firefighters working Christmas had days off before and have days off after to look forward to so they say they don't feel like they're missing out, and neither do their families. This is their norm, and they're used to this. Walthall says it's what he expects.
"We're here 24/7. We chose this profession because we like to help people, so it doesn't matter if it's Christmas, New Year's, or Thanksgiving. We're going to be here all the time."
But it isn't all work and no fun. The firefighters prepare a big meal and can invite their loved ones to join them. Shane Reed says they also enjoy each others company.
"We spend a third of our life together. This is our second family away from our family at home. These are my brothers here at the Little Rock Fire Department."
Reed says a typical Christmas at the fire station includes heading to fires or car accidents or medical emergencies.
"Someone's always going to be here to take the call as needed."
Reed says their families understand that helping others is the best Christmas present they give to the community.
Next week on New Year's Day, the same crew of firefighters will be working while others are at home celebrating.
While they say no major calls came through on Christmas, New Year's Eve is a little more exciting. They say they get a few more calls to go out on when people start shooting off fireworks.