Responders Pay Tribute to Patients, Staff at Wenatchee Hospital
A canavan of first responders traveling single file with their emergency lights on display is becoming an annual Christmas event at Wenatchee's Confluence Health Hospital.
The fleet of emergency vehicles snaked through the hospital's Central Campus on Christmas Eve for the year in a row Sunday evening.
The convey is meant to pay tribute to patients, staff, and providers at Confluence Health.
It started in 2021 and was inspired by a similar display that was staged for a local deputy who lost a baby while suffering from COVID-19.
A group of roughly 60 vehicles from sheriff’s deputies, police, state patrol, fire, ambulance and tow truck agencies typically take part in the spectacle.
It draws participants from agencies in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Chelan and Douglas counties, along with the Entiat volunteer fire department.
The group normally gathers together at Wenatchee High School at 6pm on the evening of Christmas Eve to form the light parade.
The procession moves from the school to the hospital, displaying emergency lights for one lap around the hospital complex.
The first responders then break up at about 6:30 pm. Shawn Ballard of Ballard Ambulance organizes the caravan. He says it’s meant to be a short event to allow the first responders to then be with family and friends for the Christmas holiday.
The Chelan County Sheriff's office took time to recognize Ballard with a post on social media.
"Kudos to Shawn Ballard and Ballard Ambulance for their unwavering commitment to spreading joy via the Christmas Eve local emergency services parade," the post read. "Their dedication to this tradition has become a beacon of hope, bringing warmth to patients, staff, and providers of Confluence Health."