Christmas another workday for police, fire crews

Posted at 4:17 PM, Dec 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-27 12:00:32-05

While millions of Americans celebrated Christmas on Friday, it was just another day on the job for emergency responders in Northeast Ohio.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol increased patrols this holiday season with troopers on the lookout for holiday drivers.

Sgt. Jeffrey Carpenter of the OSHP Chardon Post told that dispatch received the typical calls this Christmas morning.

“People calling in possible OVI drivers, speeding, things of that nature,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter’s been working as a trooper for 17 years and during that time he said he’s worked more Christmas shifts than he’s been home.

“All of us want to be at home with our family during Christmas and the holidays,” he said. “But we signed up to be a trooper, police officer, firefighter or nurse and we knew that was part of the job was being away and working different shifts.”

Firefighters at the Chardon Fire Department said they’re in the same boat.

Firefighter/EMS Eric Nockowski spoke with in the middle of his 24-hour shift that started on Christmas Eve.

“My family's kind of upset that I'm not here with them,” Nockowski said. “I do miss them but they understand they know we're doing this for a good cause.”

Nockowski said the firefighters at the department try to help each other out, filling in for firefighters with young kids on Christmas Day.