First responders have special parade to honor medical workers in Spartanburg


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Hundreds of first responders honored our local medical workers with a special parade on Friday.

“This has been an incredibly busy time for us,” Phil Feisal said. “Work that none of us have ever done before.”

Phil Feisal is the President of Spartanburg Medical Center and said the past several weeks have been a real adjustment.

“The teams have done an incredible job preparing for what might be a surge of patients for COVID-19,” he said.

So, to show their appreciation, some community members decided to put together a parade for those working in the hospitals, and they invited first responders from all over the area to participate.

“Heck yeah, man, that’s a good thing to do,” Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said. “You can count me in!”

“Count us in,” Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson added.

Sirens, flashing lights, and homemade signs covered the streets outside of Spartanburg Regional and Mary Black Hospital as hundreds answered the call.

“I don’t care if you clean the hospital rooms–you’re super important to us,” Sheriff Wright said. “You’re just as important as the doctors.

That’s because, while first responders work on the front lines themselves, they understand the extra risks our medical workers are now taking.

“Like us, they’re in the business of saving and protecting lives,” Chief Thompson said. “Putting others before themselves. By providing the service that they do, they’re subjecting themselves and also their families.”

“We love them. We can’t live without them and we’re going to let them know that we’ve got them,” Sheriff Wright said.

Because, at the end of the day, they say they’re all on the same team.

“We’re family,” Chief Thompson said. “There’s a kinship that we have. So, this was, basically, us telling our brothers and sister–our fellow public servants–thank you.”

“We’re all a big fraternity. Absolutely,” Phil Feisal said. “And to have that group of folks supporting this group of folks–it’s the same big club.”

In the meantime, first responders are hoping the event lifted some spirits and inspired folks in the medical field to keep fighting.

“This is going to be a long, hard battle, and it’s good to get that little pick-me-up every now and then,” Chief Thompson said.

“This COVID-19 thing is not going to get us,” Sheriff Wright said. “This is just another way for people who love Christ to show off for Christ.”

Medical workers told 7 News the turnout was a lot greater than they expected and the support means the world to them.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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