Dignity Health Chandler Regional Medical Center held a recognition ceremony today in the hospital’s chapel to honor the East Valley’s first responder community with the dedication of a one-of-a-kind commemorative mural.
Painted and donated by artist Darrin Wardle of Phoenix, the large work of art is located in the hospital’s emergency department in acknowledgement of all first responders—from the police departments and fire departments to emergency medical transport, technicians and paramedics.
“We consider first responders part of our family. It is our honor and privilege to provide care for first responders in their time of need,” said Tim Bricker, president and CEO of Dignity Health Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers. “This memorial allows us to pay our highest respects and never forget the sacrifices first responders have to make and have made in the line of duty.”
Chandler Regional’s emergency and trauma units began searching for a way to pay tribute to some of the bravest individuals the community has to offer in October of last year after receiving the second deadly case involving a first responder—the sixth in its history.
Hospital employees were joined today by first responders from Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, and Sun Lakes, including Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan. Members of the Chandler City Council and Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from the East Valley’s congressional districts also attended.
“The dedication is a very special, moving tribute to our community’s first responders and an honor for six Chandler Police officers fallen in the line of duty,” Duggan said at today’s event. “It is our prayer that we won’t have to meet like this again to add another name to that wall. It is also our hope that should any of our first responders serving our community be injured that Chandler Regional’s dedication and commitment to providing the highest possible level of care and service will save the day, allowing them to serve our community another day.”
Home to an active emergency center and one of the Valley’s newest level-1 trauma centers, Chandler Regional has experienced a continual increase in ambulance traffic and more frequent interaction between medical staff and first responders. First established in 2013, the hospital’s level-1 trauma program received official verification from the American College of Surgeons earlier this month and has treated more than double the amount of cases first predicted in its first year of operation.