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Nelson first responders salute tireless hospital workers in COVID-19 fight

Nelson Police cruiser led the parade past hospital workers at Kootenay Lake Hospital Thursday. — The Nelson Daily photo

There were plenty of sirens and flashing lights during Thursday 7 p.m. COVID-19 salute to the healthcare workers in Nelson.

Almost every first responder in the city, from Nelson Police to BC Ambulance to BC Sheriffs to Nelson Fire Rescue, even BC Conservation and local tow truck companies, paraded through the streets of Nelson to salute those frontline healthcare workers working long, diligent hours during this COVID-19 pandemic.

The convoy was organized by BC Ambulance Paramedics who wanted to give a shout out to all the emergency services, those deemed essential services, basically everyone working hard during this time to ensure life continues as normal as possible and that the people of our communities remain safe.

The parade started at Nelson RCMP detachment near Lakeside Park, cruised along Nelson Avenue to the Kootenay Lake Hospital where doctors, nurses and hospital staff greeted the convoy with waves and cheers.

The parade continued to Mountain Lakes Seniors and Lakeview Village to show support and solidarity during this trying time as the world deals with COVID-19 pandemic.

Citizens of Nelson have been rallying at 7 p.m. nightly applauding, cheering, yelling and bang pots from sidewalks, balconies or front lawns in a salute to the work being done by frontline healthcare workers.

The movement began in Italy, with Italians using music and balcony salutes for shift change during the start of the pandemic. 

The nightly ritual has also been picked up by those self-isolating across the world as well as many cities and municipalities in BC, including Vancouver, Nanaimo, Burnaby, New Westminster, Abbotsford and Langley.

First responders gathered at the Nelson RCMP detachment prior to parading through the streets of Nelson as part of the nighly 7 p.m. salute to healthcare workers in Nelson. — The Nelson Daily photo