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The work goes on for first responders on Thanksgiving

For first responders, a holiday doesn’t mean a day off. Emergency calls are still coming in.

HOUSTON — It’s a day spent by many with a Thanksgiving feast among friends and family.

But for some, it's a day filled with work.

"I would like to be home with my family. Especially, my mom. I lost my dad this past August. This is her first Thanksgiving by herself," Houston Fire Department firefighter Steven Montoya.

"We wish that we could be with our families ... especially our loved ones," Houston Police Department officer Thomas Hernandez said.

The men and women put their families aside to help patrol our neighborhoods and handle emergency calls. Those calls have not slowed down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It forces the first responders to be even more cautious than normal.

"It does play a huge difference. We have to keep in mind that we have to stay safe ... at work," Hernandez said.

And even though they can’t spend the holiday with their immediate family, first responders say they’re grateful they can spend the day helping those that need them most.

"I can honestly say that we love doing what we do. We love being out here and protecting the city. Helping those in need. It’s an honor and a sacrifice," Hernandez said.

"It’s the best job in the world. A lot of people can’t say that. I actually enjoy coming to work," Montoya said.