Sister first responders recognized with new float at 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Among the many floats in this year's 6abc Thanksgiving Day Parade, there's a new one just for first responders.

On board will be Emily Diaz, a Philadelphia Police officer, and her sister, Juanita Diaz, an EMT with the City's Fire Department.

They've both been on the front lines of the pandemic these past two years and both are serving in the Kensington neighborhood where they were raised.

"Growing up, we never thought that we would be here where we are.Never!" said Emily.

Emily and Juanita are a success story. The sisters are two of six siblings, who grew up in Kensington - the epicenter of the opioid epidemic.

Never did they think being a first responder was attainable, but both wanted to make a difference in their communities.

After becoming an EMT, Juanita pushed her sister to apply for the police academy. She encouraged her to stick with it, especially when she felt she couldn't finish.

Combined, they have 11 years on the force and hope to be an example to other little boys and girls in the neighborhoods.

"We know what it's like to be in need as kids and not having that support system, things like that as young adults and young Latin women, Hispanic women. So we kind of just wanted to make a change and be a part of something bigger than ourselves," said Junaita.

Both say they grew up watching the 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day parade, so it's a big deal in their family for Emily to be on the float and recognized alongside other first responders.

Juanita has been on leave for the last couple of weeks, so she won't be on this year's float, but she will of course be celebrating her sister!

You can watch the 6abc Dunkin' Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday morning starting at 8:30 a.m. on 6abc or streaming on 6abc.com, Hulu and our family of streaming apps like Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV and Android TV.
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