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Workers have to be flexible with family

By:  Star Beacon - Warren Dillaway

“We adjust,” said Capt. Lyle Hare of the Ashtabula Fire Department explaining what it’s like to work on Christmas Day when everyone else is home with family.

“It’s just another,” Hare said of working to protect the public while family hangs out at home missing a significant component.

At the Ashtabula Fire Department it is the luck of the draw for firefighters on one of three different shifts. “The shift that is on duty (on the day on which Christmas falls) follows the normal (rotation),” Hare said.

Fire fighters at the Ashtabula Fire Department also follow a unique rotation that has one group of fire fighters getting stuck with more Christmas work.

“What we’ve noticed with the Leap Year (is) it catches one of the shifts getting two our of four Christmas,” Hare said.

Hare said sometimes guys will work a trade for a couple of hours so they can be home with families for at least a portion of the day.

“To us it’s a regular work day. We’re out on patrol...We basically do the same things. I’ve been on (the OHP) 13 years and I’ve always worked Christmas,” said Sgt. Ron Bornino.

Bornino said many troopers will take the day before or the day after Christmas off to spend time with family and celebrate the holiday.

It was definitely business as usual for service personnel at the Ashtabula U.S. Coast Guard Station where a crew drove to Geneva and Conneaut boat ramps to test the ice in case of potential rescue events, said BM 3 Anton Lesovsky.

He said they pack a government truck with ice safety gear and check around the boat ramps in the two communities.

In Andover EMT Warren Gibson manned the phones and worked his regular shift.

“Actually I volunteered to do it so the young kids here could have off to spend time with their kids,” Gibson said. He said all his children are out of the house.

The normal day to day operation continued for Gibson and other emergency personnel.

“We have squad checks and normal housekeeping chores and sit around and wait for the phone to ring,” he said.

Lloyd Marcy, Conneaut firefighter, echoed other civil servants saying,”It’s part of the job like going into a burning building.”

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