HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - First responders honored three frontline workers at Hialeah Hospital for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Seena Jose, Mayda Cruz Soler and Danay Rodriguez Arrtiola were greeted lights and sirens blasting as they walked out of the hospital, Thursday morning.

One of the honorees said she remembers vividly the day last year when the Department of Health contacted her at Hialeah Hospital and said they were sending about 20 COVID-positive patients her way.

She said her and her team responded to the challenge, which is part of why they were honored.

“They called me and told me there was an emergency in the ER,” said Rodriguez Arrtiola.

Three Hialeah Hospital employees were lured outside to be recognized for their superb work during the last year.

“In March of 2020, South Florida experienced the beginning of a major pandemic and we have become the epicenter of that disease,” said Hialeah Hospital CEO Michael Bell.

Every year, Tenet Healthcare selects heroes to be honored at their hospitals around the country.

In Hialeah, it was all about Jose, Director of Quality, Cruz Soler, Infection Control Preventionist, and Rodriguez Arrtiola, Director of Emergency and Critical Care.

“With young children at home, like others, she worked seven days a week for months,” said Bell about Jose.

“She’s been at the front and center of Hialeah response to the COVID pandemic,” said Bell about Cruz Soler.

Rodriguez Arrtiola was also recognized as a Hall of Fame hero.

“Because of her impact on advancing emergency services response through the surge, saving lives and preventing infections, Danay is a true Tenet hero,” Bell said.

“Elated and emotional,” she said. “I really couldn’t have done it without my team.”

Hialeah is where Rodriguez Arrtiola began her nursing career and she has worked elsewhere, but she said Hialeah Hospital is home.

She said Florida has come a long way in a year and she’s happy to see the progress with the vaccinations.

“I think we still have a ways to go, but I’m much happier that we’re at this point than we were a year ago,” she said, “because it was really scary for everybody.”

Only 26 people across 75 Tenet hospitals in the country were recognized as Hall of Famers. Rodriguez Arrtiola was the only one in Florida.

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