Emergencies don't take holidays off, neither do first responders

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Emergencies can happen at any moment, which is why first responders are often working on holidays.

Pennington County 911 Dispatch.

"Unfortunately, there's emergencies every day, it's never good when it's on a holiday but that's what we're here for, we're here to help, and hopefully everyone stays safe over the holidays," said Joe Gion, assistant shift supervisor for Pennington County 911 Dispatch.

From 911 dispatch to the Pennington County Jail, law enforcement is used to working Thanksgiving.

"I'm kind of used to it between working for the Sheriff's Office and through the military, I've missed a lot of holidays, I think everybody in law enforcement, EMS, dispatchers, firefighters, we all kind of know what we were getting into when we started, so we just kind of take it as it is and show up to work," said Jacob Fredericksen, deputy for the Pennington County Sheriff's Office.

Their families learn to adjust to them working on the holidays.

"It just kind of is what it is, we know that coming into this job that it's a 24 hour facility, and shift work, and you just adjust, your family adjusts," said Joseph Edwards, Sergeant for the Pennington County Jail.

So they can continue to help, and keep the public safe.

"It's a position where I thought I could help people, help the community, so you kind of get in here doing that, and you see what good it does do and keeping the people in here that need to be in here," Edwards said.

"I think it's kind of actually an honor to work for the county during the holidays, I like to say for everybody that we take pride in being here, keeping the public safe during the holidays so they can be home with their families," Gion said.

Deputy Fredericksen said some days are good, some days are bad, but it's all worth it at the end of the day.

"Just helping people, and it's always nice to show up somewhere and somebody comes up and thanks you, like today, there have been multiple people that I've run into today that have said thank you for working on a holiday," Fredericksen said.