’You’re still here with people who care about you’: VT Rescue Squad members give up holiday to help run calls

Experience helps prepare members for working on holidays in future careers

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech Rescue Squad members Justin Davis and Haleigh Simonis are not complaining about not getting to go home for Christmas.

“My mom didn’t love it, but she understands people always need help and somebody has to be there to help them," Simonis said.

“There’s still people that reside around this area, still workers around. Students are still hanging around here," Davis said. "God forbid there’s a medical emergency, they have the comfort of knowing we always have a crew on duty.”

Working on Christmas is not only important for the public. It's also important for the rescue squad members.

“This is kind of like preparation for us to get ready for that aspect of even if it’s Christmas or something, we’re still going to have to work that holiday, and just kind of coping with that and planning around it,” Davis said.

Davis has worked on Christmas before, but this is Haleigh's first, and it's taking a little getting used to.

“You’re still here with people who care about you and who you’d want to spend a holiday with anyway. We will be relaxing and having fun even though we’re on duty,” Simonis said.

“Although we’re not home, we’re very much a family here. So, although we’re not home with family per se, we’re still together as a family here celebrating the holidays together and that’s what really makes it worth it,” Davis said.

They plan to get together with other rescue squad members and cook dinner on Christmas.