Christmas Spent On The Job

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Instead of opening gifts or joining in on the family meal, paramedics Teddy Derrick and Gabe Whittington spent Christmas Day responding to calls for help.

"I enjoy the job and it's just part of it as it goes along. Christmas Day people need help and sometimes they need extra help on Christmas Day," said Whittington, who is a paramedic.

When these men show up to work, they never know what kind of calls they will get. While they are often routine, the holidays can bring with them a loneliness that these men encounter daily.

"This time of year we get a lot of suicide calls, people getting lonely and not being able to be with their families so they start drinking, get to feeling bad," said Derrick, also a paramedic.

These are certainly difficult images to get out of your mind, and these men say their supportive families help them remember why they do what they do. Whittington has a two-year-old at home.

"I feel I have been blessed with the ability to deal with and blessed with a great family that can deal with it, so we just sort of adapt and go along with what we need to do to get it done," said Whittington.

Meanwhile, Lauderdale County Sheriff's Deputy Joseph Mathis says holidays may be slower, but they are no time to let their guard down.

"It's a little slower today. You answer regular calls as far as accidents, deaths, and burglaries. Burglars like to steal things. They don't take off just because it's a holiday."

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