TOMS RIVER – Police officers and firefighters – who know a thing or two about putting their lives on the line for others – saluted medical staff who are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic with a parade outside Community Medical Center.
Toms River has the second highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ocean County, a hospital spokesperson said. The first responders running their lights and sirens served to boost morale for the staff.
They also hung a giant American flag in the parking lot to pay tribute to the men and women in the hospital who have been working so hard during this pandemic.
The idea came down from the fire department’s administration, headed by Brian Kubiel, said Chris Vicidomini, chief of Fire Company No. 1.
Soon, other districts signed on, such as No. 2, Ocean Beach, East Dover, Silverton, and Pleasant Plains. The police department and others asked to join, and he said “the more the merrier.”
They also donated $600 worth of food from Al’s Pizza in Toms River.
“At the end of the day, they are truly the front line. They are with (patients) from the time they come in to the time they hopefully leave,” the chief said. “They’re taking care of us. We gotta take care of them.”
A week later, the Toms River Elks led a ‘Heroes Procession of Thanks.’ The procession began at Toms River Elks Lodge #1875 on Washington Street and went past the visitor entrance. They held signs and waved flags in tribute to the doctors and staff working at CMC. More than a dozen took a break from their duties to wave to the drivers, and shout their own “thank you” back.