Vermont Guard helping to establish medical surge facilities

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BARRE — A total of 48 Soldiers and Airmen are now on state active duty to support the state’s response to COVID-19.

The National Guard Quick Reaction Force is supporting the state Medical Surge Task Force in the establishment of medical surge facilities at Gutterson Fieldhouse, the Barre Municipal Auditorium and at the Collins Perley Sports and Fitness Center over the next three days.

These surge facilities are established in the event more beds are needed than our current facilities can accommodate.

Some 25 Soldiers from the Vermont National Guard Quick Reaction Force (NGRF) reported for State Active Duty yesterday.

The NGRF is part of the Vermont Army National Guard’s Garrison Support Command.

Approximately 16 more Soldiers from Company C (Medical), 186th Brigade Support Battalion, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (MTN), reported Tuesday morning.

“Our Soldiers and Airmen are trained and ready to go,” said Brigadier General David Manfredi, Director of the Joint Staff, Vermont National Guard. “These Soldiers will work in support of the Vermont Medical Surge Task Force to assist in establishing additional bed capacity for our facilities.”

Manfredi says they will also be providing medical personnel to assist the University of Vermont Medical Center in screening patients.

These efforts support the Department of Health to increase medical capacity.

The medical surge sites will be used for low acuity patients who can be moved from a hospital facility safely.

These locations were selected because they serve areas with the highest current COVID patient load and/or bed requirements, and more sites will be added as needed.