Fire fighters working on Christmas Day - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire fighters working on Christmas Day

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By Lauren Squires

DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Christmas is a time of giving but what if that was you're job year round? Even more, what if that means working on Christmas? For the men and women at the Dubuque Fire Department, working on Christmas is a part of the job.

It's just after noon on Christmas Day. Dozens of fire fighters from around Dubuque gather for Christmas dinner.

"Most of the time we eat our own meals at our own stations but today was a special occasion cause of Christmas. Our chief was nice enough to buy us a meal." said Jason Lueken.

Beef, mashed potatoes, salad, and yes, decorated Christmas cookies. But all these guys are away from their families, working a 24 hour shift on Christmas.

"We've made our commitment to the city and the community that we need to be here to help keep if safe and that's what we do," Lueken.

It's Lueken's first christmas away from his family.

"This morning the kids were up at 5:30 already tearing through presents," said Lueken.

Like the rest of his fellow firefighters, being away from family isn't easy, but it comes with the job.

"We're here 1/3 of the year. We work together basically live together, 24 shifts. So you get to know each other pretty well. Like I said, it's like a second family," said Dennis Bradley.

A second family that's already been on six calls since their shift started Thursday morning. Still, as they share a meal together, they're reminded what Christmas is really all about...

"We all like to help people, regardless of what day it is or what time of year it is. That's what we're here for, that's what we do and that's what we love," said Bradley.

It just goes to show if you can't be with your family, you can find family in those around you. That group of 23 will be working through 6:30 Friday morning; making sure everyone else has a Merry Christmas.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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