By Lindsey Kelleher
CEDAR GROVE – The fire truck horns and sirens blared for only about two minutes on a Thursday evening in April to honor the thousands of healthcare workers and first responders serving on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic before they left the fire department headquarters and drove along Pompton Avenue.
A procession of cars followed, also beeping their horns to honor the front-line workers.
The trucks and cars drove through town as residents stood outside of their homes and watched as they clapped and took pictures to show their support.
The horn-blaring event is just one way Cedar Grove showed its support for the continuous work healthcare workers and first responders have done during the pandemic, which as of late April has killed around 6,000 people in New Jersey, sickened thousands of others, and left millions of people in the United States unemployed.
Cedar Grove residents have also tied blue ribbons around trees at their homes as a get well soon message to those who are ill with coronavirus. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flew jets over parts of Essex, Bergen, Hudson and Union Counties in New Jersey, parts of Connecticut and parts of Long Island, N.Y. on April 28 to recognize first responders.
“The Cedar Grove Volunteer Fire Department is following all guidelines mandated as we are fully manned and supplied with all proper PPE, cleaning and sanitizing equipment to be ready to handle any emergency in Cedar Grove that we are needed in,” said Cedar Grove Fire Chief James Zaccaria.
Like Cedar Grove, towns in the West Essex region of Essex County also blared their fire truck horns and sirens on April 23 to honor healthcare workers and first responders.
Other Essex County towns have participated in similar events to show their support for the work healthcare workers and first responders have done during the pandemic. In early April, the Bloomfield, Nutley and Belleville Fire and Police Departments and first aid squads blared their fire truck horns and sirens to honor healthcare workers at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville.