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MASON CITY, Iowa - It may be a federal holiday, but safety never takes a day off.
"The holidays don't make it any different here. It might mean our family comes in and celebrates a holiday a little bit more here, with a nice meal or something, but as far as staffing and response, we are the same every day of the year," Mason City firefighter and paramedic Tim Cahalan says.
Cahalan has been on call all day, and even with the icy conditions on Monday, calls have been relatively low, but that can quickly change at a moment's notice.
"Sometimes, the call volume will increase with ice on the road. The calls we do get are a lot of falls, and that turns into a lot of broken bones or twisted ankles," Cahalan notes.
Responding to accident can be treacherous, even with their over-sized vehicles.
"Sometimes the road is great, and we get over confident and run into a spot where it is still pretty slippery. We just have to pay more attention, and try to prevent an accident," Cahalan adds.
On days like these, Cahalan has an important message for the public.
"If you need to be out, that's understandable. If it can wait until tomorrow, that's probably a better option," Cahalan says.