Responding to your call

Over the Christmas period we often forget about those working in emergency services who spend Christmas day responding to calls of help.

Inspector John Nichols and Acting Sergeant Louise Durkin are both working over the Christmas period for the north of the county. They will be on the team that responds to 999 calls.

Christmas will be a little different this year for Louise and her partner, also a response officer, especially with their 20 month old baby.

Louise says: “This year will be particularly challenging because both my partner and I are working during the whole festive period. We also have a 20 month old baby who will be spending a large amount of Christmas with family due to our work commitments.

“To offset this, we are planning to do our own early Christmas Day, but this will not be the same as celebrating with the rest of our loved ones.

“Instead, our Christmas day will be spent with colleagues, who are like a second family.”

John Nichols has been working for Bedfordshire Police for 24 years and has spent a few years working over the festive period.

“This Christmas Day, I will be running the Response team for the north of the county, which covers about two thirds of Bedfordshire. I will lead the team who will attend all of the emergency call-outs during the day,” he explains.

“Over my 24 year policing career, I have worked many a Christmas Day, but this year will be my first on response. Even after all this time, it is never a great feeling to leave your family on Christmas Day.

“As my children are now grown up, they are used to Dad not being there every Christmas. But this year I will be finished by 7pm and get to share some of the celebrations with them.

“These days, I feel sorry for those younger in service. For some of my section, it will be their first ever Christmas not with their loved ones and that can be a bit of a culture shock for them.”

Morale can get low when spending Christmas at work but the close knit teams are always there to support each other.

Louise says: “To keep spirits high amongst the team, who will no doubt be missing their families, we are going to indulge in a few extra treats in between attending incidents and patrolling Bedfordshire.”

John Says: “During times we are in the office, we will be bringing in some food to eat together, but it will no doubt be long before we are dispersed as we each attend different incidents.”

The Christmas period is a busier period for officers because we see an increase in public order offences, drink drivers and domestic incidents.

Louise finishes with some advice to Bedfordshire residents this Christmas: “Be safe, enjoy yourself over the festive period with those you love, because you never know what the future may hold.”

Follow the hashtag #keepingbedssafe to see what Bedfordshire Police has been doing to protect the public this festive season on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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