COLORADO SPRINGS — As we observe Labor Day today, we're thinking about all the essential workers who've gone above and beyond in the past year and a half.
Because of the pandemic, the holiday has a new meaning for some essential workers, and for others that News5 spoke to, it's simply another day to show up at work, and serve the community. And on a day like today, we wanted to ask them how they're doing.
"I'm kind of happy that we're open on Labor Day to make that little bit extra where we can before we hit our slow season, which will be here in the next couple of months," said James Meehan, the manager at Bambino's Urban Pizzeria, a local restaurant which was opened on Labor Day. "It's another day for me, especially for most people here."
Meehan said while the business was hit hard during the pandemic, they received a lot of support from the community for showing up to work.
"It was a lot different. We had lots of people come in and not only do they thank us for being open, our tips were pretty decent," said Meehan. "But people were very happy that we are still open because so many places were closed, and it felt good to be able to give that service to people that were in need or wanted it."
Restaurant employees, healthcare workers, grocery store staff, child care educators and law enforcement all considered essential workers in our community, and their work didn't stop during the pandemic. That also remains true for the Colorado Springs Police Department.
"While officers may take days off every once in a while or have vacation days, this is another day for us where we're just out here to serve the public," said Lt. James Sokolik, a public information officer for the police department.
Lt. Sokolik said Labor Day is another day on the job serving the community, but it's a job the community has supported all-year round.
"We receive thank you's and the community's support all the time. People bring in food and goodies or just contact our officers and thank them for the job that they've done," said Lt. Sokolik. "One of the things we have in Colorado is a community that supports its law enforcement and is very appreciative of that."
Meanwhile, Greg Trainer, the CFO of Asteri, an ambulance service in Colorado Springs, also told News5, whether in the middle of the pandemic or not, they always have a job to do in serving the community. He also mentioned burnout in the field is an issue because of the nature of the job, but they pay close attention to their employees and make sure their mental health needs are met, especially after a difficult call.