KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – It’s no secret first responders are on the front lines everyday during this public health crisis to protect the community. But behind the scenes, the West Virginia National Guard is working to protect them.
“To me, it’s just who we are,” said Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Williams. “People like to talk about what we do but I like to talk about who we are and we’re just people who want to serve.”
The National Guard is going through emergency and essential vehicles to decontaminate them before returning them to service.
There are two locations where vehicles can go when they arrive at Yeager Airport. There’s what is considered the “hot” side where vehicles have had confirmed COVID-19 patients in them. The next is the sterilization side where they clean vehicles for the peace of mind of first responders.
“First responders are going home and feeling safe when they return home to their families. I got emails from individual first responders that said, ‘Hey, I felt safe when I went know to my kids’, and to me as a former first responder that’s a big deal.” said James Mason, assistant airport director at Yeager.
And all of this, thanks to the West Virginia National Guard who are continuing to serve the country right here at home.
“The cool part about who we are is that we get to take things that we are trained to do and in areas where they overlap we can, in turn, apply them to the private sector and make use of them. For example, the folks in their contamination suits. This obviously isn’t a chemical war but in our suits, we know they are effective in biological environments as well.” Williams said.
The sterilization process will continue to run throughout the remainder of the pandemic.