Off to work we go-ho-ho: we talk to a Brixton firefighter about working Christmas day – and avoiding the washing up

Many of us will spend Christmas Day opening bowed presents, tucking into turkey and trimming, and watching the Eastenders Christmas climax on the telly.

But for many people across the country, Christmas is no different from a regular working day; just with added tinsel and lame cracker jokes.

Kylei Holmes-Lewis is a 32-year-old firefighter working at Brixton’s Fire Station on Gresham Road and is timetabled to work on Christmas Day.

Working with the London Fire Brigade since 2010, Kylei is a seasoned regular at working the holiday season, and this year she’s scheduled to clock-in at 8pm for a festive nightshift.

She’s worked both day and night shifts in the past and will be on duty through the night till 9.30am, ensuring that lit Christmas puddings are the only thing on fire in south west London.

Kylei proudly admitted: “I actually don’t mind working the holidays at Brixton on the Red Watch because we always have a laugh, cook together and get into the Christmas spirit.

“It’s like a home away from home!”

While working on Christmas may sound more Halloween than festive, Kylei will be waking up on the big day to her family before heading into work.

“There’ll still be time to open presents and have Christmas lunch with the family this year which is lovely,” she said.

“I get out of the washing up at home that way. Perfect.” Alongside being a firefighter, Kylei is clearly an astute strategist.

Unlike many blank office blocks whose idea of a festive celebration is fleeing far away from one another, Kylei feels her team are her second home and family, and the group are happy to spend their holidays together.

“We all wear our Christmas hats and pull a few crackers and definitely will have a few jokes of our own flying around.

“I’m looking forward to it and as ever, am proud to serve the public with Brixton Red Watch on Christmas Day.”

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