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Emergency personnel serve the community on the holidays

Published: Dec. 25, 2020 at 7:29 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - As families in the Stateline enjoy their gifts, emergency personnel does their best to make sure everyone does so safely.

“Our biggest goal is obviously to keep the community safe,” Sgt. Joseph Broullard with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department said.

While gifts are unwrapped in their homes, emergency personnel focus on keeping the community safe, especially around the holidays.

“Anytime you get a bunch of people together for the holidays there can be problems,” Broullard said.

Broullard says Christmas is another day at the office for him, but once he gets off it’s all about family.

“Go home spend time with the wife and we’ll do our Christmas gifts,” Broullard said.

At Rockford Fire Station 1, much of the crew are descendants of firefighters, this makes spending the holiday away from their families a normal occurrence.

“I’ve been working on the holidays ever since I came on the job 15 years ago,” Rockford Fire Lt. Trevor Hogan said. “My dad was a firefighter my uncle was a firefighter on the same shift totally different fire department but I remember he was gone on all the holidays.”

“We come to appreciate these things, these holidays much more, because we do not get to spend every single one of them with our family,” Rockford Fire Fighter Brett Brendel said. “We know that we know that’s part of the job we understand the sacrifice.”

Although the time away can be difficult for the families of emergency personnel, some do what they can to make holiday traditions at the fire station.

“One of the years we had Santa come to our fire station,” Hogan said. “We brought our kids to the fire station they got to see Santa come in on a firetruck.”

Emergency workers say it is a challenge to balance the responsibility to the community, and time at home on the holidays, but having family members that support them makes all the difference.

“We understand it because we grew up with it that’s part of our life and I think our kids will also understand that too,” Brendel said.

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