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First responders work through the holiday weekend

While many celebrate, New Year's Eve is a work day for first responders around the country.

WASHINGTON — For many, New Year's Eve is a time for celebration. It's a chance to spend time with friends or family and enjoy a break from work. 

But not at Engine Company 15. The Southeast DC fire station stays busy year-round.

It's "one of the busier stations in the city," according to Captain Chris Moore, who says they run between 10,000 and 15,000 calls each year.

For the men and women of Engine Company 15, just like for so many other first responders across the region, New Year's Eve is no exception.

Ali Murphy, a probationary firefighter who recently graduated from the DC Fire Academy and now calls Engine Company 15 home, doesn't mind.

"I worked Christmas, now I'm working New Year's Eve," he said.

For parents, like EMS Captain Chazz Ca'Merono, that means missing out on moments with family.

"I've spent Christmases away from them, I've spent New Year's, Easters away from them," he said. "I was working when my youngest was born and I had to...leave work early."

Despite the sacrifices, they keep coming back. It is their calling to serve that drives them.

"100% of the time, we're there to help," said Captain Ca'Merono.

"You have to be able to never lose the appreciation that we're called when somebody is having their worst day," he added. "That's a responsibility that we don't take likely."

And as a probationary firefighter, Murphy is learning that responsibility is also a chance to make the greatest difference of all.

"There's no better feeling in the world than being part of...saving someone's life," he said.

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