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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Randy Location: lauderdale county on Dec 30, 2009 at 07:27 AM
    my thanks to all law enforcement...emergency personnel...The military...And also You guys for bringing us the news 365 days a year...You all also sacrifice time with your families to provide a service...Thank You All.
  • by Oilfield Worker Location: Gulf of Mexico on Dec 28, 2009 at 01:12 PM
    We dont need to forget the men and women who are fighting for our freedom who did not spend Christmas with their family. Also the guys who spend Christmas offshore getting the oil and gas out of the ground so people could travel during the holidays.
  • by EMT South of I-20 on Dec 27, 2009 at 08:07 PM
    Thanks for this story, WTOK. It's nice to know that we (emergency workers) are appreciated.
  • by Frankie on Dec 27, 2009 at 03:01 PM
    Much better, thanks.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 26, 2009 at 05:19 PM
    Who is editing this stuff? Burglars like to "still" things?
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