Local first responders hold parades to honor health care workers

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – In recognition of Hospital Appreciation Week, first responders in Virginia Beach did something special Friday to say ‘thank you’ to local hospital staff.

Firetrucks, ambulances, police and sheriff’s vehicles, all with lights, horns and sirens blaring, paraded past Sentara Princess Anne Hospital Friday morning.

The view from Chopper 10 showed hospital staff gathered outside to enjoy the show.

The first responders did the same thing at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital on Friday afternoon.

“We just feel blessed that they came to do this for us,” said Paul Gaden, Sentara Princess Anne Hospital president.

It’s been a long road since the pandemic hit the commonwealth back in March.

“There’ve been days where there were a lot of anxieties and concerns and fears because, as all of us know, we did not know what to expect,” said Sonia Cooper, vice president nurse executive at SPAH.

Hospital staff said the love and support from the community has helped guide them.

“We’re still getting masks donated,” Gaden said.

Although there have been a lot of challenges, it’s been a learning experience.

“I really think this is going to be something we reflect on and know we really grew from this,” Cooper said. 

Staff said there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

“We just want to tell the community we couldn’t have done it and gotten through this without you, so thank you,” Gaden said. 

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