PIKEVILLE, KENTUCKY (WOWK) — Dozens of Kentucky National Guard soldiers were celebrated for their hard work Wednesday with a Heroes’ parade.
“We use the word hero’s a lot. I can’t think of any better example than today to bring these great men and women out who are soldiers serving the Kentucky national guard because they are true heroes. They came to us at our greatest need,” said Donovan Blackburn, President of Pikeville Medical Center.
Two months ago, Pikeville Medical Center was at its worst point during the pandemic. So, they called in the Kentucky National Gaurd, who serve on a volunteer basis, for help.
“Transporting patients from room to room and level to level, working the vaccine line, cleaning, diagnostics center, screening patients and emergency room,” said Lt. Nicholas Imani, Officer in Charge for the Kentucky National Guard.
Thanks to their help, the Pikeville Medical Center now only has 30 COVID-19 patients, down from 120 when the National Guard was called.
“There is also a national shortage with staffing. We have nurses retiring at unprecedented amounts right now. And we were able to bring staff in to alleviate that pressure at a time of war,” said Blackburn.
Lt. Imani says they were speechless for all the support.
“You see all those drives by and I don’t know how you can’t smile when you hear all the sirens, see all the lights, and we thank them too because this is their community more than ours,” said Imani.
A special salute from one group of heroes to another.