WI National Guard sends 6 medics to help Grafton senior living facility

(Source: Wisconsin Dept. of Military Affairs)
(Source: Wisconsin Dept. of Military Affairs)(NBC15)
Published: Mar. 22, 2020 at 3:44 PM CDT
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Six Wisconsin National Guard medics deployed Saturday to a senior living facility north of Milwaukee to help the staff take care residents there.

The four Citizen Soldiers and two Airmen were sent to the facility in Grafton, Wisconsin, after it reported the first COVID-19-related death and several workers tested positive for the coronavirus, the National Guard explained.

“A lot of citizens don’t know that the National Guard does stuff like this, so that is kind of an eye-opener too ,” said Capt. Heather Schaller, a nurse assigned to the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s Medical Detachment in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin who is serving as the officer-in-charge.

They wore their own military-provided personal protective equipment when they arrived for what is expected to be a three-day assignment, which is designed to give the facility to come up with a long-term staffing solution.

The Guard noted that the mission shows one of the ways its Citizen Soldiers and Airmen serve to protect the communities they call home.

“It’s rewarding, and it’s the reason why I put on the uniform, and why I joined the Guard,” Schaller added. “I didn’t join to put on the uniform and go to drill every weekend. Now it’s something where I can actually do something for the community.”

More than 300 Wisconsin National Gurad troops have been mobilized to battle the coronavirus pandemic and many of them are preparing for potential missions including specimen collection and transportation, logistics support, and more medical support. Troops had already been deployed to help escort home Wisconsinites who were coming back from a cruise on which there were several confirmed cases of COVID-19.