The way the Fire Dept. in the City I work for operates is, like most cities in the area, we have 3 platoons or 'shifts'. We normally call them "A" "B" "C" shifts. One third of the fire dept. is on duty every day. SO, by way of quick explanation, "A" shift is on duty today. They came to work and went on duty at 0700 this morning. They will be on duty for 24 hours, until tomorrow morning at 0700 when "B" shift starts their tour. So, 24 hours on duty, 48 hours off duty. The schedule can be really great, or really bad, and usually moves back and forth between the two over time.
One of the really good things about the schedule is that I was able to get someone else to work for me on my regular day, and thus was able to be off duty Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well as a couple days on either side of those. That is very nice indeed considering I have children at home. This may have been the last year for Santa. The youngest is at that age, and we'll see how it goes. I am very grateful for being there for that, I have missed either the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day most of my children's lives.
After two days, we have assembled everything, broken some things, fixed most things and played with it all alot. I love my children. They are the lights in my eyes.
But I want to go back to work. It will be nice to have 'grown-up' conversations again.
Of course, after I get to work, I will miss them and wish I was back home. I have a feeling that some of my "grown-up" conversations will be with citizens and might include such phrases as: "You did what?", or "How much have you had to drink?" and I'm pretty sure "What were you thinking?" will be in there somewhere.
And here comes New Years! Lucky me, I get to work both the Eve and the Day.
You know it's not that we (firemen/paramedics/police/sheriff) really get upset when you decide to imbibe a bit much and wind up in a tree in your car. We really don't get real depressed when your superman complex kicks in and we have to use the kryptonite cravats to hold you on the stretcher.
But you really don't want to be the guy with nothing but a cut on his arm standing by the cop car after we've shut down a highway to cut out the 19 year old college sophomore and her14 year old brother from the car you ran off the road. And don't yell "I'm bleeding!" either.
Drink all you want, don't drive. Designated drivers are hero's. Don't take a chance on ruining someone else's life.