HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - As people spend time with friends and family, many first responders sacrifice their Christmas holiday to help keep us safe.
Madison Fire and Rescue is one of the many agencies working on the holiday. They made the most of the day by cooking up some good food. Firefighter Latasha Coleman joined the crew in November. Today was her first time cooking and she made gourmet shrimp and grits.
"I recently just got out of rookie school in November and they have been nothing but welcoming and inviting. So my Christmas gift to them was to cook for them," she said.
Working the holiday is a small price to pay for a job she loves.
"I wanted a job where it was physically demanding. You could help others get to where you have a family environment and that's what I've been looking for in a job and I found that here and I love it," she said.
It's clear that this crew is family.
"We all have our wives and kids and then we have our fire department family and it's always fun," said Battalion Chief Dustin Spires. "It's always fun to be with them every third day and the holidays are just even more special."
Even though today is technically Christmas, much of the crew celebrated on their own schedule.
Steven Chop celebrated with his family yesterday, his 2-year-old son got a toy fire truck.
"He's got one that goes up and you turn it into like a transformer thing. He calls it up and down. So all I heard yesterday was up and down, up and down," said Chop as the crew ate and laughed together.
Even though this team is spending their Christmas ready for the worst-case scenario, they are making the most of it. They just want everyone to have a safe and happy Christmas.
"Merry Christmas to everyone and to all of the responders and health care workers that are working Christmas day, our gratitude to y'all too," says Spires.