Center hosts picnic for first responders
By Lisa DeNeal Post-Tribune correspondent September 6, 2013 1:46PM
Members of the Gary Fire and Police departments enjoy lunch during the Timberview Health and Rehabilitation Center’s First Response Appreciation Day picnic. | Photo provided
Updated: October 10, 2013 6:06AM
Local first responders — Emergency Medical Technicians and police officers — were treated to a free picnic Aug. 11 on the grounds of Timberview Health and Rehabilitation Center as part of the facility’s “Appreciation Day” initiative.
Jillian Kutemeier, who is an assistant to Timberview’s administrator, said the picnic was a way thank the first responders who frequent the center, whether for emergency reasons or to transport patients to appointments. Timberview has 130 residents.
“If not for the first responders, the staff and patients at Timberview would be lost,” she said.
Nurse Chauntisha Jakes agreed. “We see the first responders all the time, working with us and being there when we need them. We truly appreciate them,” she said. The event was also a fundraiser for the Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The picnic included a catered meal of barbecued ribs, fried chicken, pasta and potato salad and other side dishes, cupcakes and snacks.
Prompt Ambulance EMTs David Pointer of Gary and Chris Spisak of Crown Point sat at a picnic table under a tent and enjoyed their food.
“This is a great gesture,” Pointer said. “Stuff like this makes us feel appreciated because a lot of times you are not.”
“Only two people know what we do on a daily basis and that’s the patient and the administration in the facilities,” he said.
Gary Fire Department’s Mark Everette, the assistant chief of the EMS Division, arrived at the picnic with a few colleagues.
“Anytime we are recognized for doing our job is a good thing. This is great,” he said.
Timberview administrator Tom Jenkins said he applauds the first responders for their work.
“These are extremely diligent men and women. You have to give it to them, as they work 24-hour shifts and have to be on their game,” he said.
There was also a raffle with prizes including a home-spa gift basket, a backyard Tiki torch set, an arm-chair and a gas grill.