No USVI agency has requested the use the federal facilities of the Virgin Islands National Guard for the efforts to control the outbreak of the coronavirus, but Brig. Gen. Kodjo Knox-Limbacker, adjutant general of the V.I. National Guard, isn’t waiting around. On Monday he led a staff walk-through of the 210th Regional Training Institute and the dining facility at the Estate Bethlehem compound.
The V.I. Department of Health is the lead agency for the COVID19 outbreak that has spread around the world. Preparations to provide a facility to support VIDOH COVID19 requirements are under consideration.
“It was good for us to understand the needs of our health partners from both the private and public stakeholders to understand where the needs are,” Knox-Limbacker said in a news release issued Tuesday. “Moreover, where we can help from a facility and personnel standpoint, and what equipment we have for transportation to facilitate the necessary care for personnel within our territory.”
The VING anticipates a request from Gov. Albert A. Bryan to the Department of Defense for the utilization of VING federal facilities to support COVID19 requirements. The VING is preparing to provide drivers to operate military vehicles to transport patients.
“Between the Department of Health and Department of Human Services, they will be the ones providing medical care to those infected,” said Col. Jean Collins, deputy state surgeon for the VING.
The VING is postured to support the transportation of commodities, personnel, and first responders in response to COVID19 requirements.
Visitors on Monday’s walk-through saw the Guard’s vehicles, specifically the HMMWV ambulance with Advanced Armor Protection, which could be used to transport patients.
Representatives from the Department of Health, the Department of Human Services, the Virgin Islands Territory Emergency Management Agency, Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center, the U.S. Public Health Services working for the Centers for Disease Control, and AreoMD made-up the visitors who toured the facility.
“This was an evaluation of the facility to see if they could support the layout for those individuals that become effected and need medical attention,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Pete Stapleton, commandant for the 210th RTI.