Mint Hill Fire Department Organizes “First Responders Parade” in Support of Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center

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On Tuesday, April 14, first responders from Mint Hill and surrounding areas paraded around Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center to show their support for all hospital staff.

The festivities kicked off with a Mint Hill Fire Truck parked outside of Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center. At 10:00 am, dozens of first responders poured into the Novant parking lot and began circling the building, honking their horns and flashing their lights.

The “First Responders Parade” was organized by Mint Hill Fire Department Deputy Chief John Phillips.  Phillips got the idea from similar displays at other area hospitals, like a parade the Mint Hill Fire Department participated in at Novant Matthews last Saturday.  Phillips involved participants from agencies not only in Mint Hill but also Robinson Volunteer Fire and Rescue, Flowes Store Volunteer Fire Department, Midland Fire and Rescue, and Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department, to name a few. 

“All of us respond over there, so I reached out to them, and they said they’d be happy to come,” says Phillips.  Less than 24 hours before the parade, Phillips was uncertain how many trucks and cars would be participating since it’s always possible that police, firefighters and medics will be called away for an emergency, but he didn’t let that deter him.  “If it winds up being one truck, one truck will do it!” said Phillips enthusiastically. “If it winds up being fifteen, fifteen will do it.” 

Mint Hill, NC First Responders Parade video below

Phillips needn’t have worried about turnout.  On Tuesday morning at 10:00 am, over two dozen fire trucks, ambulances, and police vehicles made laps around the hospital honking their horns and flashing their lights in a show of support for all the hospital staff.  The cohort even included a K-9 officer barking along with the crowd!

Hospital staff gathered in windows and curbside to watch the parade.  Although Phillips organized the parade to show support for Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center’s providers, many of the staff gathered on the curb carried signs thanking the first responders for their support and service.  Residents from the neighboring Cresswind development also gathered in the hospital parking lot decked out in “Novant Purple” to support both the hospital staff and their first responders.

“We at Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support that we have received from the Mint Hill community,” says President Joy Greear.  “This is just another great example, and we are partners with the local fire and police departments, as well as, MEDIC and other ambulance services. We truly are all in this together, and we can’t do what we do without each other.”

“We’re happy to do it for them,” says Phillips.  “Everyone in our line of work and their line of work, we’re all working very hard trying to keep people safe and take care of them, and it’s just a way to tell them Thank you, we appreciate the work you’re doing.  We’re all putting it on the line for everyone else here, and this is a way to look at our cohorts and tell them we appreciate what they’re doing.” 

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: