Christmas Is Just Another Work Day For Essential Personnel

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Ron Matz is an Emmy award-winning reporter who joined the Eyewitness...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—You may be enjoying this Christmas day with family and friends, but all across the Baltimore area hundreds of people are working.

Ron Matz reports vital services never take a holiday.

The sound of work on Christmas can be heard at the Hillendale Fire Station. No holiday for 14 firefighters and medics.

Iit’s just like any other day for us. We might not be able to be with our real family, but this is kind of like our second family. It’s not bad, not bad at all,” said Lt. Frederick Koch III, Hillendale Fire Station.

Besides fire and police, Baltimore hospitals are working Christmas day too.

Labor and delivery is up and running at GBMC.

“Being a nurse is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You’re here on Christmas. You’re here on Thanksgiving, but it’s what you do,” said Mary Leahy, GBMC nurse.

Two Christmas babies were delivered at GBMC this morning.

“We get to be a part of Christmas miracles, so it’s pretty fun. I delivered a baby at 8:06 this morning, so it was fun,” said Rikki Strawderman. GBMC nurse.

Receptionist Ashlee Mayfield started at 7:30 a.m.

“When you first realize you have to work, it’s really upsetting but you’re here with awesome co workers. Also my husband works today too, so it makes it a little easier to deal with,” Strawderman said.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well on the job.

“I work every Christmas. It’s not my holiday. I’m here so one of my co workers doesn’t have to be. I’ve usually worked Christmas Eve or Christmas day for 25 years. It makes me feel good,” said Devera Levin, GBMC nurse.

And at station 11, it’s another day waiting for the call.

“Unfortunately even though its Christmas emergencies still happen. Somebody’s got to be there. It’s our job,” Koch said.

At the Hillendale fire station 11, there are two shifts– each with four firefighters, two medics and an EMS supervisor.

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