First responders thank healthcare workers on front lines of COVID-19 pandemic at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center

BURLINGAME, Calif. (KGO) -- There were plenty of big smiles and warm hearts as medical staff walked into work at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center Wednesday morning.

First responders from across San Mateo County organized a surprise clap-in during shift change at the hospital as a "thank you" to medical staff on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I was shocked. I felt loved -- appreciated," said one overjoyed lab technician as she arrived for work.

"Heroes work here," read one sign.

The community's appreciation on full display from SKY7 that showed a larger-than-life sign greeting workers at the entrance of the hospital with just words: Thank You.

Those words came right on time for respiratory therapist, Yohana Pena.

"It's definitely hard to go into the hospital and do your work hours there," said Pena, "So, it's really nice to see everyone just kinda support everyone."

Front lines workers took the time to show support for others on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Central County Fire Department, Burlingame Police Department, Hillsborough Police Department, San Mateo County Sheriff's Millbrae division and the San Bruno Police Department all took the time and resources to make the surprise special.

A sea of clapping first responders and emergency vehicles with lights on lined the entrance to the hospital.

Some nurses even grabbed their cellphones to take a video to document the moment that meant so much.

"We've worked really well together as a team so far through this pandemic, but it's a small way to say thank you - a much deserved thank you," said Dr. Charlie Everett, medical director of intensive care Mills-Peninsula Medical Center.

In the crowd, a number of signs said what we wish we could all say to all the nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, lab techs, custodial staff and so many others risking their lives to save ours: "Thank you for being here for us."

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