Firefighters in Florida used a fire truck ladder to visit a coronavirus-stricken lieutenant on the fourth floor of a local hospital.
Members of a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue squad visited a beloved, unnamed lieutenant last week during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Good Morning America reports that lieutenant was hospitalized three times since March 19 because of complications with the disease.
Kenneth Wood, the battalion chief of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue 13, said he helped organize the event with the help of three other stations and the hospital.
Members of the Miami-Dada Fire Rescue used a fire truck ladder to visit a colleague sick with the coronavirus on April 3
‘The lieutenant [in the hospital] is one of mine that I’m responsible for,’ Woods said, adding that he’d been working with him for around 16 years.
‘I set up a text group so that we could see how everybody’s feeling during the day and to keep the [camaraderie] going throughout the whole process. We mess around with each other, to keep things light.’
Footage from the sweet moment was taken by the lieutenant inside his hospital room as he watched his co-workers set up the surprise near a parking garage on April 3.
‘There they are. All this for me,’ he said, adding that his colleagues came with get well soon cards and a sign that read ‘Your New Firehouse.’
The lieutenant was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love.
‘This is love. This is the only kind of love you can get from the brother and sisterhood at the fire house. There is just no other way to explain how this makes me feel,’ he said.
Woods said the firefighters visited the lieutenant because of his ongoing struggles with COVID-19.
He said: ‘You can’t really go visit [the sick firefighters], you’re not allowed to go visit them … [We visited] this lieutenant because he’s been the most sick.
Firefighters surprised the lieutenant with get well soon cars and a sign that read ‘Your New Firehouse’
‘I made the appropriate phone calls and we set it in place and set the time and then went out and did it.’
Firefighters from each of the three stations took turns using the fire truck ladder to visit their friend at his hospital window.
Emotions ran high at the reunion and it was palpable how touched the lieutenant was by the gesture.
‘I think that [visiting him] really put things in perspective for everybody just how serious this whole thing is. He was short of breath the entire conversation and it was chilling the emotion in his voice,’ Woods said.
‘[He’s] been cooped up there with stress and he’s been isolated.’
Pictured: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Station 37, Station 36, Station 13 setting up the fire truck ladder outside the Miami-area hospital
Woods: ‘Everything’s just been so negative lately. So I think it was nice to finally have a good feeling, opposed to all the bad stuff that’s been happening’
The visit, Woods said, was a bright spot for firefighters who have been overwhelmed with coronavirus-related calls and stressed during the health crisis.
‘Everything’s just been so negative lately. So I think it was nice to finally have a good feeling, opposed to all the bad stuff that’s been happening,’ he said.
In Florida, the disease has infected 15,698 residents and 323 deaths. Across the country, around 435,553 Americans have contracted the coronavirus and at least 14,831 have died.
As the pandemic continues to spread through epicenters like New York and other areas nationwide, law enforcement, medical workers and other personnel on the front lines have taken the brunt of the pandemic.
CNN reports that as of Monday, 6,974 members of the New York Police Department – or 19.3 percent – fell ill with COVID-19.
At the moment, 1,935 uniformed members and 293 civilian members are diagnosed with the disease. 12 have died so far.
An EMT wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), prepares to unload COVID-19 transfer patients at the Montefiore Medical Center Wakefield Campus in the Bronx on Monday
Doctors and healthcare workers have also been hit-hard by the influx of patients and shortage of supplies.
Photos taken in New York City, where there are more tan 81,000 cases and 4,500 deaths, showed infected patients being stacked in evacuation buses to be driven to one of the city’s busy hospitals.
Gov Cuomo, speaking at his daily briefing in Albany on Wednesday, said there was a ‘mix’ of emotions that came with the fact New York has flattened the curve of new infections and new hospitalizations while the death toll keeps ticking up.
‘What we have done and what we are doing is actually working and it’s making a difference. We took dramatic actions in this state. It is working,’ he said