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My COVID-19 Story: Patrick Strang

A patient care technician and volunteer firefighter organizes an emotional tribute with first responders to thank his colleagues at NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital.

When the COVID-19 outbreak hit NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, Patrick Strang, a technician in the Emergency Department, was moved by how effectively the hospital responded to the crisis. He also saw how much the pandemic changed his daily life in his other job as a volunteer firefighter. Patrick was inspired to bring his two worlds together by organizing a parade of first responders to pay tribute to healthcare workers at the hospital. Here, he shares how it came together.

I started working at NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital nine years ago, and this pandemic has been nothing like I’ve ever seen. It’s really changed everything, and it has blown my mind the way that NYP Hudson Valley has stepped up to the plate and been able to deal with all aspects of the pandemic.

In addition to my role as a patient care technician in the hospital’s Emergency Department, I’m also a first assistant chief at Continental Village Fire Department in Garrison, New York. I had seen a tribute online from FDNY for all the hospitals in New York City, so I thought it would be a good idea to do one up here. I organized the event, which had over 150 vehicles from over 21 police, fire, and EMS departments in Westchester and Putnam counties.

It truly meant a lot seeing everyone coming together as one, just like on September 11. When I was pulling into Hudson Valley Hospital in my chief’s vehicle and saw the smiles and emotion, it brought joy to myself and to all the other first responders who participated that day. It was just amazing to see everybody unite and be there for our healthcare workers.