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117 ARW Emergency Personnel Supports COVID-19 Response

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Wesley Jones
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Emergency Management personnel from the 117th Air Refueling Wing began working with the Alabama Department of Public Health and Center for Emergency Preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic here on April 1.

Senior Master Sgt. Richard Bailey, 117 ARW Emergency Manager, is part of a state health team tasked to assess the daily capacity of hospitals and the hour-by-hour logistics changes of treating the remaining patients of the virus.

“The data we are reading this week changes very quickly,” said Bailey. “We’re surveying all local and area hospitals assessing capacity, rooms, beds, as well as ventilators so that if we do encounter a spike in patients, the facilities are ready to handle it.”

State and local officials partnered with the Army Corps of Engineers to plan and prepare for Alternative Care Sites, which have not been needed so far.

“These sites would be an alternate care option for patients if our hospitals reached capacity,” said Bailey. “But we are not projecting that to happen at this point, which is very good news.”

Bailey has many years of training and experience in disaster recovery and disaster preparedness with the 117 ARW. He has had a vital role serving the nation, state and communities in times of need. He will continue to work over the next few weeks with the ADPH and CEP ensuring local hospitals are ready for new related cases.