Firefighters with the Santa Maria Fire Department on Friday cooked 800 lbs of tri-tip at the Swiss Restaurant kitchen for local healthcare workers.
Firefighters at the event say they prepared 1,900 tri-tip sandwiches and delivered them to staff members at the Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria.
Personnel from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Santa Maria Police Department, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, AMR, Cal Star, park rangers and the FBI also came out to the parade to thank the healthcare workers at the hospital.
"A few members of our department got together and thought it would be a great idea to show our appreciation to some of the staff over at Marian Hospital for all of the things that they are doing," said Leonard Champion, fire chief for the Santa Maria Fire Department.
Dustin Jowett, a flight nurse for Cal Star 7, says it is during unprecedented times like these that the community needs a feel-good event.
"We've never had to go through anything like this, so something to break the tension is good," said Jowett.
Santa Maria City Councilmember Etta Waterfield was at the event and said she is grateful for the selflessness of healthcare workers during this time.
"I'm just so thankful and so proud of our first responders, our medical care, our military and our grocery clerks," said Waterfield.
Staff at Marian Regional Medical Center say social distancing has made a difference.
"The success of you guys staying home is actually helping us help flatten the curve," said Robyn Dodds, command center liason officer at the Marian Regional Medical Center. "We're just going to show you that we're standing united and strong and we're fighting this together."
Urbane Cafe also donated vegetarian sandwiches and Panera Bread provided chips, chocolate bars and water to healthcare workers.