Baton Rouge first responders honor healthcare workers on frontlines of COVID-19 crisis
BATON ROUGE- How do you thank a hero when words aren't enough? Try lights and sirens. That's exactly what Baton Rouge first responders did outside of area hospitals Friday evening.
Members of the Baton Rouge Police Department, Baton Rouge Fire Department, East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, and the Baton Rouge Constable's Office held a parade of sorts to show appreciation for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is tedious. It is strenuous. It is time-consuming," Monica Nijoka, Chief Nursing Officer at Baton Rouge General said.
First responders, used to being on the frontlines during crisis, took a back seat while bathing hospitals in blue as a token of gratitude for so many.
"They're fearless," BRPD Sgt. Kyle Callihan said. "I mean they know they're going to wake up every day with no end in sight. It's just every day, nonstop, tireless hours."
For hospital workers, many leave their own families to take care of strangers whose families cannot be with them as they battle COVID-19.
Those dedicated employees say they are just doing their jobs.
"This is a 24-hour battle," Nijoka said. "We're here for the long haul to take care of our patients."
As they go above and beyond, our community is taking notice.
"Definitely heroes," Callihan said. "They're definitely facing it every day."
"They walk into it. They shield up. I mean [police] wear gun belts and vests. They come in with their masks and their gloves, and the right attitude."
While lights and sirens are not the typical gesture of recognition, it is one that is appreciated by those who need our support.
"It is phenomenal that they would come out here and celebrate us," Nijoka said. "To cheer us on to continue taking care of the community."
But like all heroes, these "healthcare heroes" are focused on getting back to work.
"Not giving up," Nijoka said. "We are going to fight this battle and we're going to be successful."
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