Washington County VA

Some people working overtime due to snow

Essential jobs during storm

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. - For some people, Wednesday's snow meant a day off of school or work, but others don't have that option -- some workers must be on the job all the time.

Snowy conditions can make driving dangerous, so schools and businesses close, allowing their employees to stay home and be off the roads; but for some employees, that's just not possible.

Employees at the Washington County, Tennessee's 911 center are listening in to a call from the National Weather Service. They're preparing for a busy day and night, but no weather event can keep them away. "We have to be here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the event we do get bad weather at shift change, sometimes the shift that is working may have to stay over until everyone gets here," says Bob McNeill with Washington County 911.

Many people like, rescue squads, firefighters and police officers, can't take the day off during severe weather. For some, when Mother Nature strikes their day gets very busy. That includes workers in area hospitals. "We're expected to be here because we have patients 24 hours a day," adds ER nurse Ashley Skelton.

Skelton packed an overnight bag in case her 12-hour shift lasts much longer, "I brought extra clothes, toothbrush, hairbrush, things like that. I know I'm going to have to stay," she told us.

For many employees, their job is not something they can skip no matter the weather outside. "You just can't call in for any reason. We're open 24/7/365," says Skelton.

Many of the people working these "essential" jobs are on 12-hour shifts, which could very easily turn into a much longer day and night depending on how much snow continues to fall.

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