CRESTVIEW —It’s that time of the year that workers all across America will enjoy a three-day weekend.
Some families will grill or spend a day at the beach. Some might even attend the fireworks event at Twin Hills Park.
Many will spend time relaxing and enjoying Labor Day with family and friends. But this article honors the laborers of our nation for whom the holiday is just another Monday in the office—laborers like firefighters, police officers, dispatchers, and emergency department employees.
Let’s face it. Working on any holiday is not ideal.
“It needs to be done. Someone needs to be out there doing it. That’s all there is to it,” Crestview police officer Even Reynolds said.
But, some who work on holidays find themselves enjoying the day with their work family.
“I came out of the military, and it goes right along with it—helping your fellow people,” Crestview firefighter Matt Baker said. “Coming right into this, it’s the brotherhood and sisterhood. These people are like my second family.”
“We are one big family here on the Emerald Coast,” emergency physician at North Okaloosa Medical Center Steve Noggle, M.D. said. “Working on Labor Day means … we are taking care of our men and women, our mothers and fathers, and their families who go to work every day. That’s a privilege.”
“It’s rewarding,” Kimberly Huggins, a dispatcher at the Crestview Police Department, said. "Everybody is just like a second family:”
Firefighters, police officers, and EMS workers all agreed that Labor Day is busy for them because of the level of activity happening.
Labor Day, also called the “workingmen’s holiday," became a federal holiday in 1884 when Congress passed legislation after 30 states had already been celebrating.
The U.S. Department of Labor website states that Labor Day, “constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
For Jonathan McCleod, a city water operator, working on a day like Labor Day when other's have time off isn't an issue because he enjoys his job.
"I love working with the water," McCleod said. "...It's just another day. Normally on holidays, I try to check wells early."
Kelly Thomas, also a Crestview firefighter, talked about why she continues to do her job even when she has to work holidays.
“It really takes a special person to do this, and we do it for community,” Thomas said.