I work every holiday

These workers clock in when others are celebrating holidays with family... and guess what? They don't mind!

911 dispatcher is not a
9-to-5 gig

work every holiday jessica stevens
  • Name: Jessica Stevens
  • Place: San Jose, Calif.

I have been a 911 dispatcher for about 7 years and this year, like many other years, I will be working Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's.

As I'm sure most people know, 911 doesn't have a Monday-Friday, 9-5 type gig. The people who take 911 calls work for our communities 24/7. We work sick, we work tired, we work very long hours and we work all the holidays without our families.

It's an extremely stressful job. You're dealing with people who are having difficulty breathing, people who realize a family member just passed away, and then there's people -- they're calling you screaming and crying, and at the same time we're also trying to give them CPR instructions. We're also dealing with people whose houses are on fire.

If given the option, I would love to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas with my family on the actual day. That is not an option for me because I need to be there for complete strangers who will depend on me to answer the phone when they need someone the most.

But I made that choice to help. So I would hope that anyone given the blessing to enjoy their holiday would do just that. I know I would.

- Last updated February 24 2014 02:59 PM ET
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