In a time when hugs are few, first responders encircled Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton (BID-Milton) on April 28 with a ring of gratitude made up of more than 50 police cruisers, ambulances, and fire trucks with sirens blaring.
The parade served as first responders’ way of saying thank you to the staff at BID-Milton who have been taking care of those who have been hit the hardest in these days of COVID-19.
Milton police and fire led the charge joined by first responders from about a dozen other communities and agencies as they encircled the hospital, which is set on the hill between Highland and Reedsdale streets.
The parade included a flyover by a State Police air wing helicopter.
About 75 BID-Milton staffers led by Rich Fernandez, hospital president, all wearing face masks, formed a procession line outside the emergency entrance and re-entered the building as first responders lined the walk and applauded for them.
“It was just a great event and we’re very, very appreciative,” said Bob McCrystal, BID-Milton spokesperson. “It’s been very busy the last couple of weeks. The staff had been working tirelessly. This is a way to have the community come together and say thank you to the staff to show their appreciation and how much the hospital means to the community.”
He said the hospital was excited to be part of the procession after seeing how this lifted spirits at other hospitals.
Many workers clapped and a few danced as horns, sirens, and music blared from the vehicles.
Town Administrator Mike Dennehy called the event “a huge outpouring to all of Milton’s health care heroes.”
Milton Police Lt. Chuck Caputo said his phone did not stop pinging all evening after the afternoon parade with messages of thanks for his department from nurses and staff at the hospital.
Caputo, the head of Milton’s Local Emergency Planning Committee, said he has been working with the hospital on the town’s response to the coronavirus and had recently noted that nurses, physicians, and others were beginning to show fatigue.
(More on this story and more photos can be found in the May 7 issue of the Milton Times in print and at the e-edition.)