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Holiday Work: 911 Call Takers

Most of us will have the day off for Thanksgiving, but there's a group of call takers our community can always rely on to answer in emergency situations even on a holiday.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. - Many of us will be enjoying our turkey with family at our homes, but for emergency call takers in Washington County, they'll be working their usual eight hour shift.

"It's business as usual for anyone who works in emergency services," said Jason Kline, Emergency Communications Supervisor.

The call takers say they're thankful to do what they love the most, which is serving the public.

The emergency communication center says they're fully staffed every single day of the year, at all hours.

Veteran call takers say they have experience working all the holidays.

"New Years, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, all of them," said Jamie Glaze, Emergency Communications Specialist.

Thanksgiving is typically a slower day, according to Glaze, as families celebrate inside their homes.

The call center also mixes in some holiday cheer by celebrating with one another, co-workers they consider family.

"Usually it's fun because we bring in our own food and do our own little family work family Thanksgiving dinner," said Glaze.

And if there's one 911 call they can anticipate every Turkey Day, it's a call about a burnt turkey.

Kline says, "We usually expect at least one cooking related call of some sorts. Somebody has burned their turkey."

Aside from burnt turkeys, the call center says they're wishing everyone a very safe and happy holiday. They ask everyone to be careful in the kitchen and on the roads.

"It's more than a job for me," says Ray Franks, Emergency Communications Specialist. "It's an opportunity to come in and make a difference no matter what the circumstances."
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