MT. VERNON — — Crossroads Community Hospital's administrative staff showed their appreciation to area first responders Friday by hosting a special luncheon in honor of National EMS Week.
Throughout the week, the hospital has held different activities to recognize the important role EMS workers and other emergency personnel play in serving the public.
For example, shirts and hats were provided to first responders this week, and Crossroads officials also delivered doughnuts, cookies and ice cream to them.
Friday's luncheon at the hospital was the culmination of the week's festivities, said Finny Mathew, CEO of Crossroads.
“There are so many people in this community that when something happens or there's a need (they) step up and come forward,” Mathew said. “So we try and use this week to honor them and say thank-you.”
As part of Friday's event, the Crossroads administrative team put on their chef hats and prepared a meal for first responders consisting of hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, dessert and drinks.
Organizers estimated about 70 EMS workers, police and fire officials, and other emergency personnel stopped by the luncheon over the course of its 90-minute duration.
Some responders ate their meal on site while others, like Lt. Travis Settle with the Jefferson Fire Protection District, picked up to-go orders.
Settle said the luncheon is a great way to show first responders how valuable their work is to the community.
“It's nice to know that we are appreciated and it's just very nice that they would go through all this just to do it for us,” Settle said.
Kerry Hodge, a paramedic for Litton Ambulance, stopped by the luncheon to eat with some of his co-workers and friends. He said the event not only recognizes first responders, but serves as a social gathering as well.