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How 999 heroes will spend Christmas Day; We hope it won't be you tomorrow, but they're needed every day of the year WHEN the majority of us are tucking into our turkey and opening presents tomorrow many people will be hard at work. LOUISE COOPER reports.

Byline: LOUISE COOPER reports

FRONTLINE emergency services like West Yorkshire's firefighters and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service can expect a busy day tomorrow.

So, too, can staff working in the hospitals in both Huddersfield and Calderdale, as well as their emergency services colleagues manning the 999 call centres.

So who is working on Christmas Day and what sort of day can they expect? Here you can meet just some of Huddersfield's 999 heroes working tomorrow...

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Name: Julie Dean Role: Matron for emergency care based in A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Have you worked Christmas Day before? Yes, for many years throughout my career. I volunteered for a four hour shift this year. We always try and make it as fair as possible. I will have my Christmas dinner when I get home (if I get home!) Everyone in A&E brings in something to eat so we can grab something during the shift.

What is the hardest part sabout working Christmas Day? Christmas is for most people a happy time of year, however for some families it is not a happy time. In A&E we have to remain professional at all times for our patients and their families who may be experiencing difficult times. That is uppermost for us as a team.

If you have worked Christmas Day before describe how your shift went. Did it feel strange or just business as usual? It's just business as usual for us. It is difficult to predict in A&E. You do tend to only get real emergencies. A lot of people are on the roads visiting relatives which can lead to a busy afternoon.

Can you tell us about any bizarre or unusual jobs you have been to or dealt with on Christmas Day or over the Christmas period? Previously someone rang in and asked me if their turkey had been cooking for long enough and if it was safe to eat. I told them to check their cooking times per kilogramme. At least they didn't turn up with the turkey!

Name: James Quinn Role: Junior doctor based in A&E at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Have you worked Christmas Day before? I have never had to work on Christmas Day before but it just happened that I was scheduled to be in on that day.

What shift will you be on? I'll be starting at 4pm on Christmas Day afternoon and working until 2am on Boxing Day. My parents live in Manchester so I'll have my Christmas lunch and then come into work. It is part of the job so I don't feel too bad about and I do get half a day with my family so don't really mind - everyone has got to do it in this job.

Any bizarre or unusual jobs you have had to deal with on Christmas Day or during Christmas period? I have worked in A&E for four months and will go on to a different department in April. I find it quite good, it's a different mix and every day is different. I expect the morning will be quieter, but I think the afternoon will be busier with possibly some drink-related incidents.

West Yorkshire Police Name: Alison Liversidge Role: Force Control Room 999 Operator Have you worked Christmas Day before? Yes, I have worked Christmas Day before and I will be working it this year.

What shift are you working this Christmas Day? This year I am working an 11pm-7am night shift on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I will be having Christmas dinner with my family, but it will be later on in the day (more tea time than dinner time). I offered to work as we were shortstaffed.

What is the hardest part about working Christmas Day? The hardest part is not being with my family (and not being able to have a an alcoholic drink or two) and making my family wait till I come home before they can open their presents.

What is it like working Christmas Day? The first time I worked on Christmas Day it felt very strange, but the more I've worked it the more it has just become like any other day. Though most times someone has organised a Secret Santa so that we have presents to open and we always have decorations up in the office.

Can you tell us about any bizarre or unusual jobs you have been to/dealt with on Christmas day or over the Christmas period? Nothing bizarre that I can think of, but it does amaze me that most of our domestic related calls come after the Queen's Speech.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service Name: Gareth Farnan-Jones Age: 51 Role: Huddersfield Ambulance Assistant Practitioner Have you worked on Christmas Day before? Yes, I have worked all three Christmas Days since I joined the service.

What are you working this Christmas Day? I am working 4pm-2am. It's not the worst shift. I will still get to enjoy most of the day with my family. I have volunteered to work it in the past for people who have young children as my children are grown up.

What is it like working Christmas Day? It is different. The roads are a lot quieter and we are going into people's homes on Christmas Day so it feels more poignant. The doctors surgeries are also shut, so there is more demand. Back at the station we bring in food and have a festive buffet to try and make it a bit more special. We still get our 37-minute meal break on Christmas Day!

What is the hardest part of working Christmas Day? Being away from family and loved ones is hard. For those who have worked Christmas Eve night shift and have to sleep Christmas Day, that's pretty tough.

Huddersfield fire station Name: Kev Walsh Age: 47 Role: Huddersfield Fire Station Crew Manager Have you worked on Christmas Day before? Yes, I have been a firefighter for 23 years so I have worked many.

What shift are you working this Christmas Day? It's Blue Watch who are working the day shift as that's just how it falls. Our rotas are on a rolling schedule so it changes each year.

Tell us about the atmosphere working Christmas Day? It's Christmas. There is a buzz around the place. We have a Christmas dinner together before the big day but on the 25th we will sit down and have a meal together.

Do you think the public appreciate the service you provide? I would like to think so. We know the job is to provide cover 365 days a year, so it's just one of those things. If you are affected by fire or floods etc, particularly at Christmas, it is harder for them, and we all feel it a bit more, but essentially it is business as usual.

Have you been to any bizarre or funny incidents on Christmas Day? We do get Christmas dinner-related callouts. One year we had someone who put their Christmas pudding in the microwave for 45 minutes instead of 4.5 minutes. The microwave exploded.

Name: Stephen Shaw Age: 49 Role: Huddersfield Firefighter Q. Have you worked on Christmas Day before? Yes, I have been a firefighter for 23 years so lots of Christmas days and nights.

What shift are you working this Christmas Day? We are on day shift, so 8am-6pm.

Tell us about the atmosphere working Christmas Day? It can be quite subdued if people are missing their families. We still have the daily jobs to do, but obviously there are some things like fitting smoke alarms, which we won't have booked to do.

Do you think the public appreciate the service you provide? I hope so. We are here to provide a service whether that be Christmas Day or any other day.

CAPTION(S):

| BUSY DAY: HRI matron Julie Dean and junior doctor James Quinn

| ON CALL: But hopefully not to your Christmas pudding

| WORKING CHRISTMAS DAY: Stephen Shaw, left, and crew manager Kev Walsh, of Huddersfield Fire Station blue watch(AC181212Bfire)
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 24, 2012
Words:1347
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