AUTAUGA COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, in Autauga County has found a way to make healthcare workers lives a little easier.
Hospital employees are working day in and day out across the country, fighting against the coronavirus. With so much focus on their patients, a simple trip to the grocery store can seem difficult to manage.
"We don't get off until later, especially if you work day shift and so when you go to the grocery stores a lot of them are closing early, they're out of a lot of things whenever you go," said Erica Kirkley, Nurse Manager of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Baptist Medical Hospital in Prattville.
Emergency Management Agency Director Ernie Baggett saw an opportunity to help, and took action.
"Our CERT Team's decided to step up this year during this event and actually start delivering groceries for our hospital workers," said Baggett.
The process is made simple for the busy hospital workers.
"What we're able to do is we call and we order our groceries through the Walmart pick up app in Millbrook or the Piggly Wiggly in Pine Level and then the EMA is going and picking them up for us and taking them to our homes, and that is a huge stress lifted off of our shoulders," Kirkley said.
Autauga EMA has teamed up with the Pggly Wiggly in Pine Level. The grocery store’s online platform was not completely finished when this idea to help the hospital workers was presented. When Piggly Wiggly saw the need for curbside service in the community and for the hospital workers, they quickly got the online grocery order service functioning.
"We were in the beginning stages of launching it and it wasn't ready but we said of course and jumped on the computer and got it up and going for them," said Management Member Laken Holley. "I think we are all trying to work together and see to it that the people who need the service get it."
Employees at Baptist Health in Prattville said it's also another way for them to prevent the spread of the virus too.
"We want to practice social distancing and you know staying at home as much as possible when we're not at work, so it's a huge help to be able to have that taken care of and not go into any of the grocery stores to have to grocery shop," Kirkley said.
A reminder that a small sacrifice can go a long way, for the people who give so much every day.
The delivery service is free, and is only made available for hospital employees. Elmore County is also delivering groceries for it’s hospital workers. They have partnered with the Walmart in Millbrook.