First responders honour essential workers in video message
First responders in Manitoulin are showing their appreciation for all the essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic this week.
A video from approximately 10 different groups went online on Thursday thanking everyone from hospital workers to grocery stores employees and everyone in between.
"What I noticed is so many people were trying to keep it as normal and as functional as they could," said OPP Constable Marie Ford, the project's organizer.
"It was just great to see, I wanted to thank everybody."
"The people who are working day-to-day, facing what could potentially be something that would put them in a health risk situation... they're coming to work and they're doing it with a smile for the most part."
Police detachments, emergency services and fire departments from across the island all submitted a thank you video, which was then put into one final video message.
"We're seeing things happening all over the world," said Gore Bay Fire Chief Michael Addison.
"We're seeing things like the parade of lights and drive-bys, we're seeing people standing outside and cheering for front line staff. I think it's catching on and I'm glad we were able to be a part of that."
Addison said for this video, it was about thanking those who are on the front lines on a daily bases.
"I think of myself as a first responder... we get a call, we go put on our protective gear and we respond to the call. These people are doing it every day. They're putting on their protective gear, if they have it and hopefully they have it, and they're doing this every day," said Addison.
"As a volunteer firefighter, you know, I get calls here and there but it's not every day. So we truly appreciate everything they're doing for us."
Originally first responders were going to organize a drive-by procession to honor the essential service workers, but in order to practice physical distancing they adapted their message into something that could be shared safely with everyone.
Ford says she hopes that others will consider saying thanks as well.
"It would be really nice to see social media flooded with messages of thanks and appreciation."
The full video can be viewed here.