Lieutenant Bruce Clayton is an 18 year veteran with the Panama City Police Department. You'd think his hard work, dedication, and seniority would allow for a day or two off this time of year. Unfortunately for him that's often not the case.
"You need law enforcement 24 hours a day, so we can't take off. We're just doing our job out here as law enforcement," said Lt. Clayton.
And he wasn't alone.
"We had about 70 calls in the day time and we had about 18 calls after midnight last night (Christmas) with seven trucks, so we stayed very busy," said Bay Medical Center Lieutenant Paramedic Liane Harding.
"The citizens need us, so we're supporting our citizens," Firefighter Devin Rogers told NewsChannel 7.
Even though policemen, firefighters, and EMS personnel have some of the most difficult and risky jobs, they don't always have the most ideal work schedules. Being away from home for the holidays is a reality for most public servants.
"I have two little girls, a four year old and a nine month old. It's pretty tough. I wish I was at home with my family," Rogers said.
But it's safe to say the majority of them knew what they were getting into, so how do they survive? What keeps them coming back?
"It's my passion. I love helping people," said Rogers.
"Even after all these years you have those moments where you feel good, you know you make a difference," Clayton told NewsChannel 7.
And they said familiy isn't just biological.
"We're at work as much as we are at home during our waking hours, so it's our second family," said Harding.