Christmas aay another day at the office for some
While most area residents got to spend their Tuesday celebrating the holiday with family or friends, or at least enjoying a day off from work, for others — police, EMS SrRvLderV, firefiJhWerV, doctors and nurses among them — Christmas aay was MXVW DnRWher dDy DW Whe RIfiFe.
“I don’t mind working the holidays,” said Lansdale police Sgt. oyan aevlin, who’s worked Christmas the past few years. “We have a rotation and the schedule is set up a year ahead of time, so we all know in advance when it’s our turn. But it’s not too bad.”
aevlin said that the number of calls that come in Christmas aay is about the same as an average day, inFOXdLnJ Whe XVXDO WrDIfiF DFcidents and a few domestic disturbances.
“arunk driving goes up a little bit since people are going from place to place visiting people, having one drink here and one drink there,” he said. “But all in all, it’s pretty much a typical day.”
Though he admitted it can Ee D OLWWOe dLIfiFXOW IRr VRPe RIfiFerV whR hDve kLdV WR Ee away from their families on Christmas, aevlin said that the department’s spirits have been lifted by the number of local residents who’ve come by police headquarters in recent days with cookies, hoagies, plates of hot homemade meals, candy canes, cakes and more.
“We’ve got tons of food here,” he laughed. “I can’t even tell you how good that makes us feel, knowing that the residents of Lansdale care and support us. I think PRVW SeRSOe knRw WhDW firVW responders are out there every day, and especially after what happened in Connecticut, I think people are aware of what we do. So it’s really nice that people are thinking of us at the holidays.”
“When someone knocks on their door with a meal, they appreciate that more than you can even imagine,” said Lansdale’s Colleen mopiny, a co-founder of The Wives of Blue — an organization of police spouses throughout Montgomery County involved in various charitable causes and raising awareness of all that cops and their families do for the community every day of the year. ln their Facebook page, the Wives of Blue recently encouraged people to bring food to their local police department.
mopiny’s husband, a tactiFDO reVSRnVe WeDP RIfiFer, had to work Christmas aay and be away from their three young children.
“There’s nothing you can do, it’s his job, but I’m very proud of him,” she said. mopiny added that throughout the day, she was sending her husband photos and videos of the family baking cookies and enjoying other holiday festivities, “just so he can see the kids’ facial expressions.
“Some people out there don’t get it — they just arrested some guy trying to steal one of the wise men from a nativity at a church,” she continued, “but then you have the residents who put their blue lights out at this time of year WR VXSSRrW IDOOen RIfiFerV. SR you have a lot of good people RXW Where, Dnd he definLWeOy feels appreciated.”
Meanwhile, over at the matient First medical center in Montgomeryville Tuesday morning, ar. llga Vinshtok, the facility’s medical director, said that she and her staff of doctors, nurses, u-ray technicians and others were a little busier than usual this Christmas.
“meople are coming in very VLFk wLWh D ORW RI FROd Rr flX symptoms and they’re very glad we’re open,” she said.
Like most Christmases, minor lacerations were also common this year “because people are cooking or reckless with knives,” said Vinshtok. She also expected to see a few cases of food poisoning as the day wore on, as well as twisted ankles or even broken bones “if it’s wet and slippery outside, or if people maybe have a little bit too much fun and they trip and fall.”
Vinshtok said that she usually works aecember 25th because she’s oussian lrthodox, so she celebrates Christmas in January.
“I take the place of someone else so they can enjoy the holiday with their family, and then I’m off on my Christmas,” she said. “But for the people who are working today who celebrate, we try to make it as pleasant as possible. Everybody brought in home-cooked meals and we have the decorations up, so it’s not so bad. It’s actually kind of fun.”
And just like police stations around the area, matient First received some edible gifts from residents, too.
“meople brought in doughnuts, all kinds of things for us,” Vinshtok said. “That’s really nice, and even though people come in very sick, they’re very happy and appreciative that we’re here for them on Christmas, so that feels good.”