City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Sgt. Courtney Lumpkin - Community Outreach Coordinator, PTC

Featured Article

Making a Difference, Even on Holidays

Thanks to those who Protect, Serve and Care for others, even when it's not convenient.

Alex Chisum - Firefighter, City of Fayetteville Fire Department - by Emily Flournoy

What is the hardest part about being a firefighter?

I’m a recent dad and being away for 24 hours can get kind of hard. I always pitch to myself, “Every day is Friday here” because we always work one day, and then we are off two. So, it is pretty sweet but I would say that is one of the challenging parts.

What is the most rewarding part? 

The appreciation we get from citizens. They love us. They bring us food all the time. Just knowing that we are helping people. People call us on their worst days, unfortunately. So, knowing that we can come there and help them out and solve their problems is pretty rewarding. Another reason I chose this job is that I come in and every shift is different. It’s like every skill you learn you might have to put it on display today.

What motivates you?

Right now my 11-month-old daughter. So, that is my easy motivation that wakes me up in the morning. Also, my beautiful wife who I met in college at the University of Cincinnati. Those are my two big motivators.

What is your favorite part about working with your team?

We are all kind of like-minded. People might think we are crazy on the outside, but here we understand each other. We go through a lot of stuff together.

What is it like working on the holidays? 

This department in particular, we do a good job of communicating. You might have to make that sacrifice for that year, but even still we are here for 24 hours so our families come up here. You kind of don’t miss a beat, you just can’t be home, and if a call does drop you have to stop everything you’re doing and go to it.

Sgt. Courtney Lumpkin - Community Outreach Coordinator, PTC Police Dept. - by Pam Reid

Why law enforcement as a career?

Being from Newark Jersey where the police are around, but not really around, I saw response time wasn’t what it should be and wondered where the gap was in my community. Shortly after college I was applying to police departments and the probation opportunity came through first, and when I look back on it now, it was a blessing. I went from probation to the jail to patrol officer in Peachtree City. It’s been important throughout my career to have the background of what happens when someone is on probation, and what it's like for someone to be in jail.

Describe the sacrifice officers make, and what makes you willing to make it.

COMMUNITY — first and foremost, hands-down, I would say this community is why we are willing to make the sacrifice. Working in Peachtree City in Fayette County; the support we receive from the citizens here is amazing. It makes it easier to work on holidays. We have citizens who will come by and drop off food, cakes, and whatever else will make it that much easier to make the sacrifice. The citizens constantly make us aware that they support us and that they are here for us. They know that our job is difficult.

How do you balance working on holidays with family and home life?

All of my siblings and I have a public service role, so we check our schedules and figure out a day that works for the family. Whatever that day is becomes our Christmas or our Thanksgiving.

Tanya Martin, Nurse, Piedmont Fayette Hospital - by Susan Walworth

Why did you become a nurse, knowing that you would have to work on holidays? 

Nursing came later in life after I was married and had kids. At the time I went back to school I had already been working as a medical assistant in a physician's office, but I wanted to do more—to be able to help make a difference in someone's life. I honestly never thought about missing the holidays or even weekends with my family. We all need someone to be the nurse, doctor, police or other first responder. 

What do you miss most about sharing Christmas Day with your family?

The biggest thing I miss is seeing everyone on that day. Regardless, if it's my holiday to work or not, my family knows how important my job is to me and we adjust accordingly. We may celebrate a day early or a day late. 

How do you celebrate with your work family on Christmas Day? 

At work, we still celebrate the holiday. We all bring our favorite side dishes and desserts. The hospital provides us with ham and turkey. On Christmas, we have secret Santa for anyone that wants to participate. It is a nice way to brighten the day during, what could be, a bad day or situation. 

Do you recall a time that working on Christmas was especially worthwhile because of someone you helped?

There is not one particular day that stands out to me. Being there every day to help save someone's life or make a difference in their life is the same, regardless of what day of the year it is.  Being a nurse was never a childhood dream of mine. However, it did become one as an adult and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do what I love. 


Dr. Patricia Moore, Women’s Medical Center, Tyrone - by Susan Walworth

How do you celebrate when you have to work on Christmas?

The hospital is usually a good place to be for that. Usually, the nursing staff arranges to have a potluck where everyone brings in something and we all share food and make time to eat. People are usually festive and wear hats and make it more fun.  One thing about working on the holidays in the hospital is that people are only there when they really need to be. Nobody comes to the hospital on Christmas unless they have to be there, and they need your help. You feel very needed and appreciated. So, although no one likes to be away from their family at Christmas, it’s actually not a terrible holiday to work because you feel like you're helping people and that's why we're all there anyway.”

Since babies aren’t always born on schedule, do you sometimes have to leave your Christmas celebration to rush to the hospital?  What makes it worthwhile? 

Sometimes in the middle of Christmas morning and opening presents, or during dinner, I have to go. It goes back to what I was saying that people really need you. There is something special about delivering a baby on Christmas, honestly. 

How do you make it up to your family when you can’t be there on Christmas?  

My husband (Bruce) knows, and my children (Jack and Caitlyn) have both grown up knowing that sometimes mom has to go, and it just is the way that it is. What we usually do though is try to celebrate before or after if we need to. That definitely has gotten easier as the children have gotten older, so it's easier to shift the date without a problem. 

  • Alex Chisum - Firefighter, City of Fayetteville Fire Department
  • Alex Chisum - Firefighter, City of Fayetteville Fire Department
  • Alex Chisum - Firefighter, City of Fayetteville Fire Department
  • Sgt. Courtney Lumpkin - Community Outreach Coordinator, PTC
  • Sgt. Courtney Lumpkin - Community Outreach Coordinator, PTC
  • Tanya Martin, Nurse, Piedmont Fayette Hospital
  • Dr. Patricia Moore, Women’s Medical Center, Tyrone 
  • Dr. Patricia Moore, Women’s Medical Center, Tyrone