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Updated: April 3, 2020, 12:40 PM

First responders show thanks to hospital staff in West Brighton

By Paul Liotta

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- First responders gathered in West Brighton Friday night to show their thanks to hospital staff on the frontline of the battle against the coronavirus.

Uniformed FDNY personnel with the 22nd Battalion and NYPD officers gathered outside Richmond University Medical Center along Bard Avenue to applaud the hospitals doctors, nurses and other staff. First responders across the city have been participating in similar events.

Daniel Messina, the hospital’s president and CEO, said how important the show of gratitude was to him and the rest of the hospital’s employees.

“It’s really what keeps the fire in our bellies going,” Messina said. “Having the fire department and the police department just come out and recognize the’s just incredible.”

What the first responders did Friday night was part of the #ClapBecauseWeCare movement that has shut-in residents of the city go outside each nigh at 7 p.m. to applaud hospital staff.

New York City’s first responders have been showing their support for hospital employees in their own ways as they work to treat the throng of people suffering from the virus.

NYPD officers delivered meals Friday morning to the staff at Jamaica Hospital in Queens to show their support. Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said the crisis has strengthened the bond between firs responders and those who staff hospitals.

“This is our small way of showing our Jamaica Hospital sisters and brothers that we haven’t forgotten the professionalism and support they show us every time we walk through their doors,” Lynch said. "It also shows regular New Yorkers that their emergency personnel are united in responding to this crisis. Our uniforms may be different, but our mission is the same.”

On Staten Island, a joint effort between Borough President James Oddo, the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Community Television, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and local restaurants and caterers has been working to provide hospital staff with meals.

Those interested in donating to “Feeding the Frontline” should visit the Chamber of Commerce’s website.