How you can make Christmas a little nicer for our paramedics
OF THE past seven Christmas Day's paramedic Arantxa Stevens spent six on them in uniform and on the job.
While everyone else is opening presents or tucking in to a hearty Christmas lunch Ms Stevens and her fellow paramedics are on the roads, attending hundreds of medical emergencies across the Darling Downs.
Despite being away from her family Ms Stevens said it was still a pretty good way to spend the day.
"It sounds cheesy, but the Ambulance Service becomes your family," she said
"They are the people you see first after really great things happen but also after really bad things happen.
"At times it can be hard for your family to understand the stuff we got through as paramedics so you need that support from your peers to get you through those horrible times."
Christmas is just another day for paramedics.
The heart attacks, car crashes and allergic reactions do not stop because it is December 25 so Darling Downs paramedics squeeze in what celebrations they can.
Their family members drop by, they exchange Secret Santa gifts and play the odd game of basketball.
"I have managed to drop in to my family, say hello and have a piece of pavlova," Ms Stevens said
But being the festive season means some of the callouts take in a festive flair.
"There is obviously a bit of over indulgence and people get abdominal pains from people eating too much," Ms Stevens said.
"We also see kids hurt playing with new toys or accidents at the playground - but usually nothing too sinister.
"I remember a lovely gentleman who tried one of those Ripstik skateboards.
"He had a few too many drinks that gave him some false courage and he ended up with a lower back injury."
It would be great if the Christmas callouts were limited to strained waist lines and bruised egos, but the high volume of traffic on the roads meant the threat of a road death or serious injury looms large.
Ms Stevens urged revelers to show care on the roads and stay safe.
"Losing anyone for any reason around Christmas is horrible but losing them for an unnecessary reason - like a traffic accident that could have been prevented if the driver didn't pick up their phone or were not drinking - is so much worse.
"It is hard for the paramedics to go to that sort of thing.
"Your day goes from quite nice to possibly one of your worst days."