WHILE most Australians were yesterday tucking into Christmas lunches, checking presents or arguing with relatives, emergency services personnel were at work like any other day.
And so it was at the Wodonga fire station.
Leading CFA firefighter Robert Mace said he had no problems working on the holiday.
“Someone’s got to do it,” he said as he used a quiet day to check hoses.
“You know in advance, so you just plan around it.
“You make the most of what you’ve got.”
Mr Mace said he was up at 6am opening presents with his son, 10, and wife, and would later enjoy dinner with them.
Station officer Chris Daniels said he also didn’t mind, having worked 18 Christmases in a 20-year career with the CFA.
“It doesn’t worry me, just like any other day in the office,” Mr Mace said with a smile.
Mr Daniels later spent the evening with his wife in Beechworth.
The firefighting pair have previously had some busy Christmases working in Melbourne but Wodonga was usually quiet.
“People are too busy eating food and having a good time to do something stupid,” Mr Mace said.
Wodonga volunteers 2nd lieutenant Gerard Peeters and Amanda Sceriha also put their community first, spending the day on call.
“We’re here to serve the community, so it’s part of being a volunteer,” Mr Peeters said.
Ms Sceriha, who became engaged on Christmas Eve, said she agreed working on public holidays was just part of the position.
“I love it — you give up your time for the community,” she said.