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Dec 24, 1999

Police, firefighters don’t mind holiday shift

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To most of Channel Five’s employees, today it seemed like every other business had given their employees the day off. But contrary to the popular belief in this building, there were many others at the grindstone today and some of them will even be there tomorrow, Christmas Day. We talked to some Belizeans who will not be sleeping in tomorrow and maybe not even eating Christmas dinner with their families. They say the sacrifice comes with the career.

Francine Solano, Prosecution Branch, Police Dept.

“For me I like working Christmas, although I would like to be with my family, but this is what I wanted to do so I ride along with the program. I guess many officers are not mad because they’re working Christmas. They chose that career, so we work with it.”

Since this morning, two hundred police officers and one hundred Belize Defense Force officers have been patrolling the city streets, trying to curb the crime rate. Solano says even though she’ll be working, she’ll still know it’s Christmas Day.

Francine Solano

“As we see lights, that’s how we feel it’s Christmas.”

The men and women of the Fire Department say they sing carols between calls.

Q: “You all no get together and sing some carols?”

Herman Garbutt, Firefighter

“Yeah, sometimes.” (laughs)

The firefighters say they will miss being with their families but they won’t mind if they sit around the fire house all day tomorrow and suggest a simple tactic to avoid accidents around home.

Ernest Dominguez, Firefighter

“If people will be more careful on when it’s time to go to party, that everything is properly cut off before leaving home, it would be much better for everybody.”

The doctors of the K.H.M.H. won’t be singing tomorrow but they will greet patients warmly.

Dr. Idelfonso Roberts, Accident and Emergency, K.H.M.H.

“Just greet each and everyone a Merry Christmas and that’s it. We have to work. I guess we will have much more people coming in than any other ordinary day.”

At Tropic Air, Christmas Day will mean business as usual but one employee who says she’s worked every Christmas for the last five years says she won’t be missing out on her Christmas dinner.

Lynden Mora, Tropic Air

“Sometimes, we come in the afternoon so when we come in the afternoon, I’ve already had my lunch or sometimes when I work morning, I go home and have lunch. We just bring cake and we eat that and we drink soft drink. I don’t feel any way, it comes normal; I’m used to it.”

Janelle Chanona for News Five.

Channel Five will also have one of our staff members, Francis Blanco giving up his Christmas so you all can still see your favorite programs.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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