Siren call of appreciation for health workers

The message was loud and clear for staff at Hawkesbury & District General Hospital that all their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic is very much appreciated.

Thursday night (April 2) at the hospital must have seemed like it would be the same as any other night for the doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff on shift. Until just at the hour of eight o’clock they saw a stream of police cars, sirens flashing, come rushing into the hospital’s emergency entrance parking lot, followed by several fire trucks from the Hawkesbury Fire Hall just a few blocks away up Spence Street.

Then a chorus of sirens sounded. A flashing light display accompanied the whooping wall of sound, and not just the wigwags and light bars of the fire trucks and patrol cars. Lined up on the frontage road in front of the hospital, a rank of front-end loaders and other heavy construction equipment offered its own flashing contribution to the light show along with honking horns.

The entire event was a surprise show of support organized by the Hawkesbury OPP detachment, Hawkesbury Fire Department, and other emergency service agencies to let the hospital staff know that all their efforts to maintain the health of the community during the current COVID-19 crisis is appreciated and that they are honoured for their service and dedication.

After a raucous ten minutes, the sirens became silent and the lights went out. Calls of “Merci!” and “Thank you” and cheers came from the hospital staff gathered outside the entrance doors to marvel at the surprise show of support and watch their biggest fans drive off to do their own duty for the community.

Scène policière

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Across the Prescott-Russell region, flags fly at half-mast as local municipalities, school districts, and others express sympathy and support for the residents of several Nova Scotia communities in the wake of a weekend murder spree which claimed the lives of 22 people.