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Jefferson Parish first responders thank healthcare workers battling COVID-19

“The healthcare workers in Jefferson Parish -- they really are our first line of defense with the current COVID-19 crisis."


Outside of Ochsner Westbank Hospital, RN Ireion Barnes is finishing up another long shift.

“Every day is different,” said Barnes, talking with WWL-TV’s Paul Dudley. “It just depends on the patients and how sick they are.” 

These days, for Barnes and countless other healthcare workers, the work is harder than ever.

“The healthcare workers in Jefferson Parish -- they really are our first line of defense with the current COVID-19 crisis,” said Jason Rivarde with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.  

That’s why JPSO and the Terrytown Fire Dept. decided these healthcare workers needed a bit of support as they were leaving work Monday. 

“We were watching from upstairs,” said one healthcare worker. “We were like what the heck is going on?”

In the parking lot, dozens of the officers and firefighters stood in silence with the lights on their patrol cars and fire engines. They also had a banner that read; “Jefferson Parish Supports Healthcare workers.” 

“This means everything because we’ve been working all day and so you come out and it’s just nice to see,” said the healthcare worker. “Especially to come from firefighters and police officers, I mean they put themselves in danger all the time,” said another. 

"We get support from the community pretty much year-round. We are very fortunate to have a community that supports us so it's important to show that support back to the community," said Rivarde.

It might feel like simple showing but if you ask Barnes -- she’ll tell it feels so much than just a small gesture.

“We appreciate it. We really do,” said Barnes. “This is just a warm hug from you guys without actually touching so it means a lot.” 

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