Parade will salute hospital, essential workers 

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Island fire trucks and police cruisers will pay tribute to frontline essential workers on Tuesday afternoon. - Rich Saltzberg

Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 pm at the Edgartown School, the Vineyard’s EMS, fire, and police departments will parade across the Island to pay tribute to frontline grocery, healthcare, pharmacy and other workers. The parade will start in Edgartown and is expected to last an hour as emergency vehicles motor past grocery stores, the hospital, and other establishments. All six towns are expected to participate.

West Tisbury Police Chief Matt Mincone said he’ll be dedicating at least two cruisers. Mincone tipped his hat to Aquinnah Police Chief Randhi Belain, who he said developed the idea of an appreciation parade. Belain said he would be sending two cruisers as well. Belain said he saw appreciation parades taking place regionally and nationally and thought the Vineyard could use something similar. His original idea revolved around medical workers and he tipped his hat back to Chief Mincone, who he said suggested grocery store workers should be saluted, too. Aquinnah Fire Chief Simon Bollin said he will be dedicating a fire tanker. 

West Tisbury Fire Chief Manuel Estrella III said he will send two pieces of fire apparatus including a brush breaker. He also said he will participate in the parade. Tri-Town Ambulance Chief Ben Retmier said he will send an ambulance or a response vehicle. Tisbury Fire Chief John Schilling said he will dedicate a fire truck and an EMS vehicle. Tisbury Police Chief Mark Saloio said he will dedicate two cruisers. Chilmark’s police department expects to dedicate two cruisers, according to Police Chief Jonathan Klaren. Chilmark’s fire department will send a brush breaker and an engine, Fire Chief Jeremy Bradshaw said. Oak Bluffs’ police department will send two cruisers, according to Police Chief Erik Blake. Oak Bluffs’ fire department will send three to four fire trucks and one or more ambulances, according to Assistant Fire Chief Manuel Rose. Martha’s Vineyard Airport will be sending its newest piece of firefighting apparatus, according to assistant airport manager Geoff Freeman. Edgartown’s police department will send two cruisers, according to Police Chief Bruce McNamee. Edgartown’s fire department will send an ambulance and a fire company, Edgartown Fire Chief Alex Schaffer said.

Schaffer noted the parade is taking place in the middle of the day because that’s when many frontline workers will be working their jobs. 

“We want to have the most impact for the people who are at the frontlines everyday,” he said.

Dukes County Sheriff Robert Ogden told The Times “a full complement of vehicles and staff” will participate in the event. Additionally, the sheriff’s department honor guard will be posted at the jail, he noted.

“We deeply appreciate and wish to recognize our Island medical personnel and grocers for their commitment and dedication to their chosen professions during these trying times,” Ogden wrote.