First Responders Thank Healthcare Workers With Tribute Train Salute

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It’s not uncommon to hear sirens sounding near a hospital.

“I am completely overwhelmed almost to tears,” said Lisa Zapatka, the regional chief nursing officer with Trinity Health of New England.

What you won’t see is healthcare workers rushing outside to wave as they pass by.

“It was phenomenal I think it’s the lift that all of our staff needed,” Zapatka said.

At noon Friday, first responders gave a salute to healthcare workers at St. Francis, St. Mary’s and Johnson Memorial Hospitals.  Dozens of local fire, police departments and EMS sounding their alarms in a tribute train to show their support during COVID-19.

“They’re dealing with a lot of the pain and suffering that comes with COVID-19,” Zapatka said.

“I think it’s wonderful, the support that we’ve gotten from the community not just the first responders has been absolutely amazing,” Mary Farkash, a clinical nurse at St. Mary’s, said.

If they weren’t already thinking enough about others many of the healthcare workers wanted to say thank-you back to first responders.

“I think it’s a very mutual understanding of what we all contribute to the healthcare system,” Zapatka said.

For a few moments the healthcare workers able to take their minds of the reality of the pandemic to receive thanks, smiles that couldn’t be masked.

“The camaraderie has been emotional it’s been so overwhelming,” Melissa Coates, clinical manager at St. Mary’s said.

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