EDMONTON -- Dozens of healthcare workers at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton took a 10 minute break from the frontlines Tuesday night to receive a grand gesture on the street outside.

More than 20 emergency vehicles, sirens blaring and horns honking, gave hospital staff a drive-by “siren salute.”

Doctors, nurses and support staff could be seen clapping, waving and even crying.

Healthcare workers

“It means the world to us,” Pamela Anderson said.

Anderson, a nurse at the Royal Alex for the past 12 years, came by on her time off to witness the event.

“That was amazing. You feel super appreciated, and just come together with the first responders and the nurses and the doctors and everyone involved,” she said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, similar parades have been held in northeast Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Calgary.

Tuesday’s salute included vehicles from Edmonton Police Service, Edmonton Fire Rescue, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Peace Officers.

Constable Nathan Kennedy organized the parade and said it was easy to get other first responders to join.

“I think it’s important that the health staff that are working overtime and working miracles right now are shown that they are appreciated,” Kennedy said.

“I hope that we represent the community as a whole to know that they are 100 percent appreciated.”

There were 754 cases of the coronavirus in Alberta Tuesday, although 120 of those people had recovered, the province said.