Law enforcement, medical staff answer the calls while we celebrate holidays
By Michael Sudhalter
Like most of their fellow Fort Bend County residents, Sean Baudat and Sade Kelly wish they could spend all of the holidays with their beloved families.
But Baudat, a 41-year-old Fort Bend Sheriff’s Deputy and Field Training Officer, and Kelly, a 26-year-old Nurse at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, know that citizens throughout Fort Bend are counting on them in case of an emergency.
“My wife and children are used to it,” said Baudat, a Greenwood resident who grew up in Sugar Land and graduated from Clements High. “I don’t think they like it, but they understand that police work doesn’t stop.”
Baudat finds a way to still celebrate the holidays. Sometimes, he takes his family to a Thanksgiving Brunch before it’s time to begin his shift, and other times they’ll celebrate the holiday on the Friday afterwards.
Last year, he and his patrol partner enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal at Luby’s.
When Baudat started with the Sheriff’s Office, he worked as a financial crimes investigator and didn’t have to worry about missing out on holidays.
When he started in patrol eight years ago, he knew it was part of the job.
But back then, the Sheriff’s Office gave holiday time off preference, based on deputies’ years of experience.
Now, requests for holiday time off come on a first-come, first serve basis.
“Patrolling on holidays usually results in “less call volume and more family disturbances, Baudat said.”
Many of the calls come from families who have arguments, sometimes with alcohol being a factor.
“We don’t want to put people in jail on the holidays if we don’t have to,” Baudat said. “If we can separate people without anyone going to jail, we’ll do that. But people tend to act better around the holidays, for whatever reason.”
‘THE HOSPITAL DOES NOT CLOSE’
Kelly, a Rosenberg resident who plans to begin studying for her Master’s Degree in January, and her husband have an 11-month-old daughter.
She would love to be at home with her daughter, but she and her husband both understand that working holidays is part of her job.
“We’ll prepare the day before Christmas, my family comes over and my husband will be at home,” Kelly said.
When she arrives at home after a 12-hour shift, Kelly has a chance to celebrate with her family.
“You still have time with your family, it’s just a different time than if you were off,” Kelly said.
At Houston Methodist Sugar Land, there are six major holidays per year —Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Employees select three of the six holidays off, and the following year, they work the other three holidays.
“I don’t mind it —you have to have someone available to be here and care for the patients,” Kelly said. “It’s nice to know you have people who want to be here and work.”
Kelly finds comfort in the fact the hospital cafeteria provides meals and the employees get a chance to “celebrate together.”
Things are usually slower on holidays, especially in the Orthopedic and Neurosurgery area where Kelly works.
Most of the surgeries there are elective, and patients don’t usually plan to have them done on holidays.