Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center (SJMC) held their inaugural Blessing of the Rigs event on Friday, October 28, 2022, National First Responders Day.
SJMC offered a county-wide invitation to all city and county fire, police, sheriff and highway patrol departments, and county ambulance companies to attend. Festivities entailed a drive-thru interfaith blessing of the vehicles and first responders, which also included canine units and motorcycles.
"We are delighted to have the ability to celebrate National First Responders Day and recognize our local heroes in a very special way,” said Tammy Shaff, Director of Community Health with St. Joseph’s Medical Center. “Our community is extremely fortunate for the sacrifices our frontline workers make daily, and after such challenging times through the pandemic, extreme fire seasons, and unimaginable violence plaguing our community, showing our appreciation is the least we could do."
Nearly 100 first responders attended, with Chaplains from the Spiritual Services Department performing the blessings for the first responders and their respective rigs. In addition to the blessing, each first responder received lunch and a token to show appreciation from SJMC.
“The work of our first responders, like the work of our healthcare colleagues, is never ending,” said Sister Abby Newton, OP, Vice President Mission Integration. “It is important to foster one another’s resilience and commitment to our common lifesaving missions.”
For more information on St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s Community Health programs, please visit https://www.dignityhealth.org/central-california/locations/stjosephs-stockton/about-us/community-programs.