Health care workers driving in and out of work at Northern Light Inland Hospital and Continuing Care Lakewood Monday morning were greeted with what the hospital spokeswoman called a “heartwarming gesture.”

Representatives from 14 first responder organizations were on hand to salute them on a dreary, rainy morning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was an emotional and humbling experience, to be thanked by our community partners who we consider heroes — who keep people safe and save lives,” said Terri Vieira, Inland/Lakewood president.

Waterville police Chief Joe Massey said, “We wanted to show our support for Inland and Lakewood health care workers. We are all fighting COVID-19 together, and we are grateful for everything Inland and Lakewood staff members are doing. This effort shows our solidarity and how much health care staff mean to us and our community.”

Members of fire and emergency services units from Albion, Belgrade, China, Clinton, Fairfield, Oakland, Rome, Sidney, Waterville, and Winslow; Waterville and Winslow police officers and Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department officers; and Delta Ambulance personnel participated.

“Thank you to Waterville’s police, fire and rescue departments, and the many other departments from around the region who lined our campus to honor health care workers as we drove in and out of work this morning,” Sara Barry, director of regional marketing and communications at Inland, wrote in response to the morning’s display.

It was an amazing ride into work for all of us at Inland and Lakewood today,” Barry wrote, ending her remarks with thanks for what first responders do, for the kindness they had shown hospital staff and with the hope that together they will get through the pandemic.

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