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    Always Ready, Always There: Training to Protect the Force

    Always Ready, Always There: Training to Protect the Force

    Photo By Sgt. Terry Rajsombath | Sgt. Carlos Vasquez, a crew chief with 1-126th Aviation Regiment, helps secure a...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Terry Rajsombath 

    Joint Force Headquarters, Rhode Island National Guard

    East Greenwich, R.I.- In response to increasing request for support, members of the Rhode Island National Guard (RING) train on personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to stand ready to potentially assist short staffed care facilities, April 16, 2020 at Camp Fogarty, East Greenwich, R.I.

    “We’re tasked as medics to teach the service members about PPE,” said Angel Madera, a medic with the 861st Combat Engineer Company. “We’re teaching them how to use the face mask, goggles, putting on extra layers of gloves and a gown because they’re potentially going into a hot zone with potentially COVID positive patients.”

    Serving as a medic within the RI National Guard, Madera is also a student at Rhode Island College, studying to become a nurse while working part time as an emergency medical technician.

    “This is where it’s at, this is why I signed up,” said Madera. “I joined the Guard knowing I wanted to become a medic.”

    Most of the Soldiers and Airmen training on proper practice and utilization of PPE are volunteers. Most of them come from military occupational specialties (MOS) outside of the medical community but are prepared to help fight the pandemic however they can assist.

    “The real fighters against this disease are the nurses and doctors,” said Sgt. Carlos Vasquez, a crew chief with 1-126th Aviation Regiment. “We’re crew chiefs, we’re infantryman, we’re mechanics. We can’t directly help, but we can at least help those who can. I can assist a CNA (certified nursing assistant) by taking out the trash, help a nurse move around equipment, anything that helps make their job easier.”

    Vasquez said that despite his lack of medical experience, he’s honored to be able to serve his state after having served his country overseas.

    “All of my deployments have been out of state,” said Vasquez. “Right now, the state needs us to step up. I want our neighbors and medical professionals to know we’re here for them. If the nurses can show up everyday and suit up, so can we.”



    Date Taken: 04.16.2020
    Date Posted: 04.22.2020 07:27
    Story ID: 367783
    Location: EAST GREENWICH, RI, US 

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