Safety: a non-stop job


‘Tis the season to spend time with loved ones, but for first responders it doesn’t matter if they’ve been naughty or nice. Quality time comes in short supply.

If there’s ever a day to be away from work, or spend time with family, it’s on Christmas. Although it seems like everything was closed for business, keeping the community safe has no end.

“It’s 365 days a year. 24-7. We care about the community just as much on Christmas as we do any other day. We’re out here making sure everybody travels safe and gets where they’re going,” says Deputy Jeff Kinnett from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

Christmas Eve and Christmas aren’t the only holidays that Deputy Kinnett and so many others in his profession are away from family.

Kinnett: “It’s not just Christmas. There’s Thanksgiving–other holidays. You have to sacrifice, but it’s for a good cause.”

It’s a cause that Sullivan firefigher Mitchell Eberhardt knows just as well.

Mitchell Eberhardt – Sullivan Firefighter: “You know, you’re away from your family. You don’t get to go home, and eat dinner, and open your presents, or eat Thanksgiving dinner with them, but you know. We’re here, and we get a lot of food brought up to us, and people bring food. So we have our own little family here at the fire department.”

It’s usually on another day their families will schedule an additional holiday gathering.

Eberhardt: “Most of the time when everyone has a day off we’ll do it then. Or they’ll just do it without you and you get there, and you finally get to open your presents.”

It’s a lifestyle he knew well before the first holiday he ever missed. Growing up, Eberhardt watched his father do the same thing as a firefighter before him.

Eberhardt: “I knew what like, because he was gone, you know, when I was a little kid. So I knew what it was like.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories