Essential workers still hard at work during Labor Day

Coronavirus

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — As the long Labor Day weekend wraps up, it’s a time to celebrate the hard work of American citizens. This year, the day takes on a new meaning with essential workers.

John Britt, chief of EMS at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern, along with other EMTs and paramedics he works with say they’re just doing their job, even if that means they have to work through holidays like Labor Day.

“It’s nothing new, we’ve been doing it our entire careers, Britt said. “We are pretty used to cold ham from New Year’s, cold turkey from Christmas.

“When you get that paramedic patch on your sleeve, that comes with missing holidays, and rarely will you hear us complain about it.”

Working through the pandemic has just meant even more hourse for these healthcare workers.

“The pandemic has really affected us,” Britt said. “We’re working at reduced staffing, which means there is staff here that is having to work more, but we’re getting it done.”

Because of the pandemic, he said he feels people appreciate their work even more on the off-days now.

“In the past, there was always a little bit of pushback wanting to know why you have to work on a holiday,” Britt said. “People seem to get it now, especially our families. They’re like ‘Oh go, go do good work.'”

He wants everyone to know the frontline workers are here to help you, holiday or not.

“There is a need for EMS, there is a need for paramedics,” Britt said. “Regardless of the pandemic, regardless of Christmas, Labor Day, New Year’s, we’re going to be here. We want to help someone on a holiday as much as we do any other day.”

Britt said one way to be proactive in the community and show essential workers appreciation is to get vaccinated and wear your masks.

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