Representatives from local organizations accepted keys to the city from the mayor and city council on April 6.

Frontline, essential workers of Federal Way presented with Keys to the City

Mayor Jim Ferrell honored healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and grocery workers at the April 6 meeting.

Frontline and essential workers of Federal Way were awarded keys to the city April 6 by Mayor Jim Ferrell.

Ferrell presented keys to the city to all healthcare workers, Federal Way Police Department officers and personnel, South King Fire and Rescue firefighters, and grocery workers in Federal Way at the virtual Federal Way City Council meeting.

Keys to the city are awarded to those who demonstrate outstanding contributions to the community, Ferrell said. After what the world, nation and city have gone through in the past year, these awards are an attempt to recognize and thank those who have gone above and beyond, he said.

Accepting the awards were Valerie Howard, ICU monitor technician at Swedish and Federal Way resident; Gloria Brigham, director of nursing practice for the Washington State Nursing Association and Federal Way resident; Dr. Aparna Ananth, a local doctor and Federal Way resident; Dino Johnson, chief operating officer of St. Francis Hospital; Chris Navarrette, a Fred Meyer employee and member of the local UFCW 21 Labor Union for grocery workers; South King Fire Chief Vic Pennington; and FWPD Deputy Chief Kyle Sumpter.

The key plaques read in part: “On behalf of a grateful community, we honor your selfless sacrifice and service.”

Even in the hardest times that cannot be controlled, healthcare workers have worked diligently to care for patients, Howard said.

On behalf of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Johnson noted the key will be placed proudly in the hallways of St. Francis Hospital.

Navarrette thanked the council and mayor for the award, and for the recognition that throughout the pandemic, grocery workers have put themselves and their families at risk in order to keep the Federal Way community fed and essential needs met.

Deputy Sumpter of the Federal Way Police Department, accompanied by a patrol officer and records specialist, said “it has been, and remains, our pleasure to serve this community — on beautiful days like today and on difficult days like COVID.”

Fire Chief Pennington noted his thanks on behalf of the department for this distinct honor.

“Thank you all for, every day, showing up and being heroes and standing up in the face of this adversity, [and] risking, many times, your personal safety,” Ferrell said.

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