Well-wishers show their love to B.C. paramedics and 911 operators

Paramedics and emergency response professionals are being overwhelmed not only by the demands of their jobs but now by offers of home baking and the “art-bombing” of their workplaces.

People are plastering stations with chalk drawings and hearts cut out of colourful construction paper, as well as dropping off fast food treats such as pizzas, doughnuts and ice cream cakes or even whole dinners at ambulance stations.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said paramedic Dave Leary, acting chief of the North Delta station.

Speaking on behalf of the Ambulance Paramedics of B.C. and Emergency Dispatchers of B.C., he said the workers appreciate the gestures and are sometimes a little taken aback.

“I was just out the other day and people (are) giving us the thumbs up and they’re waving and cheering. We’re not used to that. We’re just kind of out there doing our jobs like anyone else,” said Leary.

He said when paramedics respond to calls in a neighbourhood, residents will all be outside, cheering, and banging pots when they come out to get more gear form their truck or go to leave.

And in his Surrey neighbourhood, someone had put up a poster at the community mailbox, encouraging everyone to join in nightly at 7 p.m. in what has become a noisy nightly tribute to front-line workers in various parts of the province.

“It kind of chokes you up,” said Leary.

The paramedics want to thank everyone for the dinners, baking and cards, and remind them the most precious gift of all is staying at home and maintaining the safe two-metre distance to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“Thank you for your continued support,” said Leary.