Christmas Day with first responders: “We’re here to take care of our citizens.”

YOUNGSVILLE, La. (KLFY)- While most people are at home either opening gifts or spending time with family this Christmas, first responders here in Acadiana as well as across the country, are on the clock today, making sure that the communities that they serve as safe this holiday season.

News 10 took a ride along with officer Eric Segura with the Youngsville Police Department as he was making his usual rounds throughout the city.

“We’re here 24 hours a day, anytime they need anything they can just pick up the phone and call,” Officer Segura said.

He’s been working as an officer for 17 years. He says working on Christmas was hard at first, but now he realizes it’s his duty.

“You always want to be with your family but after a certain amount of time,” Segura said. “I chose this job for a reason, and being away from the family you just have to either do it before or after the holiday.”

Members of the Lafayette Fire Department Station 5 were enjoying the company of their fellow firefighters and spent the morning reading Christmas cards sent from second graders at Ridge Elementary.

Dione Stutes is the teacher there and her husband is a firefighter at the station.

“It’s Christmas time, so we’re just trying to teach them to give. Give back,” Stutes said.

Captain Martin Belote has been with the fire department for 27 years. He says at one time he worked 5 Christmas’ in a row. Now he’s used to it.

“It’s harder on the younger fathers that have young kids you know,” Belote said. “They don’t get to open the gifts with them on Christmas day, but throughout the years they understand, so they adapt to it.”

The department was cooking gumbo, and staying alert just in case a fire breaks out.

“You know we’re here to protect and serve, and it’s not like a department store where you take off on a holiday. You know we’re here in case there’s an emergency,” the captain said. “We’re here to take care of our citizens.”

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