Many people woke up this morning to open presents with family or sit around the table for Christmas dinner. But many men and women across the country went to work today to make sure everyone else could celebrate safely this Christmas Day.
"We're usually a little more lenient on Christmas when it comes to traffic, you'd hate to give someone a ticket on Christmas Day," said Sioux Falls Police Officer Pat Kneip.
It may be Christmas, but an emergency can happen anytime.
"The holidays, you really don't want to go on the calls, because they only call us when they're having a bad day, and there have been calls in the past where you're doing CPR on Christmas and that's never good," said Sioux Falls Fire Fighter Ben Tracy.
"It's always harder on a holiday when the families have to deal with those types of tragedies," said Kneip.
If there is an emergency on Christmas, you can rest assured that the police, fire department and paramedics will be ready.
"We've already been out on a few calls this morning...and when people need us, we've got to be there," said Tracy.
Being away from their families on Christmas is nothing new for most emergency responders, but even though they're at work on Christmas Day, they make sure to celebrate the season one way or another.
Tracy says he's worked many Christmas days, so much that his wife is used to him working Christmas.
"O yeah, they're kind of used to that, you kind of celebrate when you can," said Kneip, who has worked many Christmas shifts in his 24 years on the Sioux Falls Police force.
"We opened presents yesterday morning, we told our daughter that Santa Clause came by a day early since daddy had to work," said Tracy.
Even though they're working and taking care of business as usual, these civil servants are finding some ways to celebrate on the job.
"Christmas is a lot of fun around the firehouse... we try to prepare a little bit better meal on the holidays just like you do at home," said Tracy.
"One of the sergeants was nice enough to bring in some stew that's waiting for us downstairs," said Kneip.
Members of the community are also helping to make the day a little brighter.
"A lot of people just come by and ring the doorbell and say hey, we want to thank you guys for being here," said Tracy.
A big thank you to all our public servants working this Christmas—we appreciate everything you do to keep us safe during the holidays and all year long.
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