On Duty Christmas Day - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

On Duty Christmas Day

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      For firefighters, nurses and police officers, Christmas is just like any other day of the year.

      Donny McDowell is a Senior charge nurse at UPMC Hamot.  He worked until 11PM on Christmas Eve, then had to be back at 7AM, Christmas morning.

      Whether it's Christmas or any other day of the year,  he says his staff is always ready.

      "You know, in the 28 years I've been here, we've never been closed for even 5 minutes.  This place is always open, we're always ready for what comes through the doors," he said.

      Those who spend the holiday on duty aren't the only ones who sacrifice.

      Captain Aaron Wassell of the Erie Police Department said it's also their families.  "It's the families who really have to do the sacrificing;  knowing that mommy and daddy have to work on a holiday," he said.

      Andy Fitzsimmons is a firefighter at the Erie Fire Department Central Station.  "Whether it's a holiday or not, we can't predict when an emergency is going to happen, so we always have to be on standby just in case," he said.

      While working on Christmas may not be for everyone, these guys say  its all part of the job.

       "When I went into nursing, I knew that it would be round the clock kind of care," said McDowell.  "I knew that it would include weekends and holidays and odd rotations so it's just part of the job."

      "Even though it's Christmas, it's a regular work day.  We have to get out there and man the streets in case something happens," said Captain Wassell.

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