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First responders treated to breakfast at Merrill Gardens
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Leroy and Captain Marty Maldonado and other SHARPS members line up to order their breakfast omelets at Merrill Gardens dining room. - photo by GLENN KAHL

It all started at 7 a.m. with a special breakfast hosted at Merrill Gardens Retirement Center for the first responders of Manteca that drew some 30 police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel and their supporting SHARPS and SAFE volunteers.

The police department officers were first to be welcomed into the dining room of the Union Road facility.  The SHARPS and SAFE volunteers arrived midway in the 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. window with Chef Jose Morales turning out his best in omelets along with a variety of breakfast specials.

Police Chief Nick Obligacion and officers from day shift along with one detective shared breakfast together.  Each omelet was custom made, with a choice of ingredients ranging from tomatoes to avocados and onions.

Merrill Gardens spokeswoman Tisha Macias was pleased with the turnout as were her staffers who went out of their way to make the city’s emergency personnel feel welcome.  Macias said this was the first in what she believes will become an annual event in the community.

Senior citizens living in the complex were open to chatting with the firefighters and members of the police department as they came into the dining room for their regular breakfast meal.

On-duty firefighters parked their rigs outside the facility while they took a brief on-call timeout for breakfast.  No active calls to interrupt their meal.