SE Health recognizes EMS responders during EMS Week

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Emergency medical service workers have been recognized during national EMS Week for the past 46 years.

EMS and SE Health workers outside SE Health during EMS Week.

Now, with COVID-19, the way they are being honored looks a little different.

For the last 30 plus years, Southeast Health has honored local EMS workers during EMS Week with a big social gathering but this year, with social distancing guidelines in place that has changed.

"We knew that we would not be able to have the gathering that we've had in the past so the team got together and said what can we do so that's how we came up with the grab and go concept," said Joseph McNeil, Director of Emergency Services, Southeast Health.

EMS workers from counties around the Wiregrass came to Southeast Health to grab a meal and go.

"The beauty of Southeast Health offering this lunch means that they still recognize us.,” said Sean Gibson, Dothan Fire EMS Battalion Chief. “They've come up with a way, created a strategy and as you can see, they're making it happen, so it means a lot to us."

Healthcare workers have been spotlighted for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Southeast Health wants to return the favor.

"A lot of support and giving has been given to healthcare workers so there again we felt that it was important to show that token of appreciation for Frontline EMS personnel," McNeil said.

Chief Gibson wants that appreciation to stay.

"I hope that the public continues to find ways both public and industry to recognize these Frontline workers and remember it's not the ones that are just in uniform,” Gibson added. “There's a lot of us that are out on the front line of this COVID-19 pandemic."

Southeast Health fed 200 EMS personnel from around the surrounding counties.