Help make Christmas happier for our emergency workers
SPENDING time with family is one of the best parts of Christmas, but for emergency service workers this time of year is regularly sacrificed as part of the job.
As everyone else gathers with family for Christmas lunch and dinner, Warwick Police Sergeants Lisa Self and Shane Reid will be the shift supervisors this Friday.
"I had last year off so I knew I'd be on this year," Sgt Reid said.
"We go by rotating rosters so it's really just business as usual."
"It was probably my turn too," Sgt Self said.
"I'll be supervising the morning shift and there will be a few other staff on each shift as well."
Both sergeants have worked Christmas before and said they accepted time away from family as part of the job.
"You'd definitely rather be with family but being a 24-7 emergency service, it's sort of expected you'll regularly work Christmas, Easter and New Year's," Sgt Reid said.
"It's an accepted part of the job and it's only eight hours away so you still get some family time," Sgt Self said.
"Really it's the partners and children who suffer more than us."
Despite the delights of Christmas, both sergeants said car crashes and family violence could mar what should be a happy time.
"One of the saddest things in general is that it should be a happy time but a mix of custody issues, family and alcohol mean that it can be a hard time," Sgt Self said.
"But just because it's Christmas doesn't mean we're on holidays.
"We'll be out doing traffic enforcement, catching drunk drivers and trying to lower the road toll."
"I've spent the better part of one Christmas Day, almost six hours, at a serious traffic crash between here and Stanthorpe," Sgt Reid said.
"In our job, really anything can occur but when I think of working at Christmas, a lot of the issues we see tie into traffic crashes, domestic and custody issues.
"Like everyone else we want people to travel safely and enjoy themselves over Christmas and have their kids enjoy Christmas for what it is."