While thousands in Greater Victoria take enjoy time off from work and school on Christmas Day, others still have to serve, cook, clean, prepare and more. (From left to right) Victoria fire fighters Garrett Baker, Gabe Bosworth, Scott McQueen and Captain Cliff Kennell oversaw Fire hall No. 3 on Christmas Day, which included the duty of getting the turkey in the oven for the night shift. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Meet the Greater Victoria workers holding down the fort on Christmas Day

Local servers, first responders, taxi drivers and more come into work

While thousands of Greater Victorians enjoy a relaxing work- and school-free Christmas Day, a number of workers get up, go to work and hold the community together.

READ ALSO: A peek at what’s open on Christmas Day in Victoria

Come behind the scenes with Black Press Media and meet the servers, caretakers, first responders and more who come into work while the rest of the city sleeps in and takes the day off.

Firefighters, first responders and dispatchers are still hard at work on Christmas making sure community members are safe. Those working from Langford Fire Rescue Station 1 wished everyone a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

Langford firefighter Kevin Maxwell said working on Christmas Day has been great.

“The day’s been awesome…usually we’re not working but when you get together with a really cool crew it’s not that bad of a way to spend Christmas,” Maxwell said. “We have a full crew here, ready to respond.”

Ashley Duncan, a dispatcher working out of Station 1, said there’s no such thing as a typical day in her line of work. However, she said it has been a quieter day than usual.

“Even though we’re getting taken from our families we get to come here and work with our second families so it’s really not that bad of a day,” Duncan said.

Meanwhile, Victoria firefighters are also on shift, keeping the city safe. At Fire Station No.3, Captain Cliff Kennell, engineer Scott McQueen and firefighters Gabe Bosworth and Garrett Baker worked the Christmas Day shift. Bosworth said getting Christmas off is basically luck of the draw since it’s dependent on scheduling. Many firefighter use their banked time to spend the day with their families.

But for today’s crew, one of the tasks included getting the turkey in the oven for the evening shift’s Christmas dinner.

Doctors, nurses, paramedics and Island Health staff don’t take a break on Christmas either. Hospitals remained open and the BC Ambulance Service was still operating to ensure the safety of patients.

On Wednesday, Island Health tweeted a note of thanks to the many colleagues working on Christmas.

“Thank you for putting our patients’ needs before your own, for raising the spirits of those who can’t be home with their loved ones this season and for showing the season’s true meaning of compassion and care,” the tweet said.

The McDonald’s location on Millstream Road in Langford was filled with people looking to fuel up with some food and coffee.

Michael Patrick has been an employee and McDonald’s over almost three years, and this year is his third Christmas working there.

“It’s a fun environment, it’s a little busier at points but everyone is having a good time because everyone is in the Christmas spirit,” Patrick said.

A big rush of late breakfast orders made the location busy in the early afternoon but Patrick said the rest of the day is usually slower.

Liquor Planet employees Tianna Smith and Cassidy Theriault were busy with customers on Christmas as people made last-minute purchases before their holiday celebrations. The store remained open until 5 p.m. so customers could make sure they had what they needed before Christmas dinner.

READ ALSO: A list of where to look for Christmas lights in Greater Victoria this year

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