First responders help on-and-off the clock this Christmas

    First responders come to the rescue this Christmas. (Photo credit: Amanda Chodnicki)<p>{/p}

    While many of us are spending our holidays inside and warm, our first responders are doing the opposite all in the name of keeping the community safe.

    Some of these first responders are working, but not actually on the clock.

    They are epitomizing holiday spirit even in this extremely cold weather.

    "There was a vehicle that was stopped in the middle of the freeway," Michigan State Police Trooper Tarzza Williams said. "She ran out of gas."

    The woman ran out of gas, but not out of luck.

    "She was about to walk," he said. "She had a long walk ahead of her, so I figured you know... it would take 10 minutes of my night to help her out."

    Trooper Williams was technically off duty and on his way home after a long day of work Christmas Eve, but he stopped to help.

    Hours later, he was back to work on Christmas Day.

    "Whether it's a traffic stop or a simple assistance to somebody, everyone's appreciative that we're out here," he said.

    It's time away from his family to make sure others, like Johnny Kagen, safely get home to theirs.

    Kagen is visiting from Tennessee for the holiday.

    "Ya it's cold here," Kagen said. "Y'all got it really cold."

    While he thinks Michiganders are crazy for living here, he said he's never seen warmer hearts.

    "Thank gosh for the officers that we have here on the Christmas night," he said. "I've seen a lot of pedestrians out helping everyone out also, so thank goodness. At least there's a lot of good people out here in this world."

    As for steps to take to stay safe and warm on the road, Trooper Williams said if you can afford it, keep at least a half of tank of gas in your car at all times.

    He said to also have the following items on you: blankets, snacks, water, emergency kit, etc.

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