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Emergency Responders and Retail Workers Spend Independence Day on the Clock

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The holidays are a time when most people kick back and relax. But every year, more and more people are spending the day at work.

Jason McDaniel works for the Harrison County 911 Communications Center. He spent Independence Day 2013 serving his community.

"Need for somebody to be here to cover calls when people need an ambulance, law enforcement, fire departments," said Jason McDaniel, 911 Dispatcher for the Harrison County Communications Center.

Working with him, is Deputy J.L. Cumberledge, who started with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department two years ago. Cumberledge said working the holiday didn't come as a surprise to him.

"Working the holidays, it is a necessity. It is an emergency services position so you should expect it when you come into this field," said Deputy J.L. Cumberledge, with the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

Without people like Cumberledge and McDaniel, the day would be a disaster.

"If no one came in to work 911 calls, you would have some chaos," Cumberledge said.

Lots of people travel, participate in recreational activities, or catch up on house chores over the Fourth of July weekend. But those activities, and others, can lead to accidents. And sickness doesn't always take off when we do.

Patsy Robey is a nurse at the United Hospital Center. She said working the holidays is an opportunity to help others.

"Hospitals are open 24-7. You have to have people working in them, not to mention the fact you have lots of people who are critically ill. They are here on the holidays too. If their family can't be here on the holidays, it's nice we can be here for them," said Patsy Robey, R.N. at the United Hospital Center.

The word 'emergency' is relative. For some people, running out of hot dog buns or potato chips would be a nightmare on Independence Day.

Convenience and department stores are open on the holidays for those emergencies too.

Matt Childers works at Target in Bridgeport, and said he and his employees have a good attitude about working.

"We're not stuck here, we're taking care of our guests who might have last minute needs for Independence Day," said Matt Childers, assistant Manager at the Meadowbrook Mall Target store.

Nurses, officers, and retail workers said they get used to being on call.

"I have always worked holidays, you know it's just another day. It's not that bad," Robey said.

It's not easy, but they have a good support system that gets them through.

"What's nice is, you know you're not the only one out there working," Cumberledge said.

"They keep us motivated. We work as a team and we've just always made the best out of any situation," Robey said.

"Have fun, enjoy it. Celebrate the day. Just because we are at work doesn't mean we can't have a good time and enjoy our freedom," Childers said.