When Community Safety Unit (CSU) Manager and Staff Sergeant Brian MacDonnell got the call from former colleagues at Toronto Police to help organize a tribute to hospital workers in Toronto, he didn't hesitate: "This was an amazing way to show appreciation," said Brian.
The tribute, which took place Sunday, April 19, was met with overwhelming claps and cheers, MacDonnell said. Along University Avenue's hospital row, hospital cleaners and security guards lined up alongside nurses and doctors to take in the cheers (at a distance) of first responders. Some even lined up along a glass walkway to hold up hearts to an upper floor window and wave.
He said the hospital staff gave as good as they got, cheering for first responders in return. "It was a great moment of appreciation for our CSU members, many of whom are new to TCHC following our recruitment drive. For them to see that their work is part of the bigger picture of fighting this pandemic, and to see the hospital staff clap back at all the first responders, was a great acknowledgment of their frontline work."
More than 20 CSU Special Constables took part in the event. CSU members in seven CSU vehicles made the rounds of hospitals in the west of the city to honour workers, seven more visited east-end hospitals and another seven vehicles took part in the University Avenue tribute. The event was organized by MacDonnell, Staff Sergeant Karolina Marchildon and Staff Sergeant Grant Birmingham. CSU and other first responders also visited some long-term care homes to express thanks to those health workers as well.