On Wednesday, April 22, the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center witnessed an emotional display of gratitude as heroes saluted heroes. More than 200 Kaiser Permanente health care workers thanked the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and Fire Department (LAFD) as the emergency responders returned the appreciation.

With lights flashing and sirens blaring, dozens of police cars and fire trucks made their way through the West Los Angeles campus thanking health care providers and staff who are still working diligently to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. An LAPD helicopter also participated in the salute, circling overhead as the crowd cheered.

During the procession, LAPD and LAFD shared encouraging messages as they expressed their gratitude for the hospital employees.

“These are unusual and trying times,” said Shannon Paulson, captain and commanding officer, LAPD. “There are generations that have come before us that have faced trials, and there are generations that will come after us that will look back on what you have done and what we have done together, and they will draw strength from this.”

“Thank you to our medical professionals, our brothers and sister, you are amazing,” Paulson added.

Monica Hall, battalion chief for the LAFD, then addressed the crowd, “The fire department wants to thank you for all that you are doing. We see you, we know what you are doing, and we are so proud to be in partnership with you.”

The Kaiser Permanente health care workers reacted with emotion to the display, many of them pulling out their phones to film the event while others held signs of appreciation and applauded the emergency personnel. The West Los Angeles Medical Center Administrative Team was also present to salute all who have sacrificed their lives, time, and resources during the pandemic.

“When we were children, we all had fictional heroes that we looked up to,” said Dr. Kirk Tamaddon, area medical director and chief of staff, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center. “Today, all of you here are our real heroes. On behalf of the leadership team, we thank you.”

Submitted by Emily Guardado

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