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MacDill service members respond to assist COVID-19 patients in NY, NJ

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Doctors and nurses assigned to the 927th Air Refueling Wing left for Joint Base McGuire-Lakehurst in New Jersey on Sunday.

The service members will be part of more than 120 medical professionals sent from Air Force Reserve Command to work with state and local authorities in the region to fight COVID-19.


WHAT TO KNOW:

  • Florida is reporting 85,926 cases and 3,061 deaths
  • Florida in Phase Two of reopening
  • Cases have spiked in past week, Gov. DeSantis says due to increased testing

“I was sleeping yesterday afternoon when I received the phone call to report to MacDill in four hours,” said Lt. Joseph O’Brian, a clinical nurse from the 927th Aeromedical Staging Squadron.

“I live a couple hours away, so I only had a couple hours to finish packing and say goodbye to my wife and child.”

After arriving at JMBL, the doctors and nurses headed to the Jaco K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

The center houses a temporary hospital.

Maj. Jennlee Glaiser has recently transitioned from active duty to the Air Force Reserve.

“As a civilian, I am a doctor at the [Tampa area] VA [hospital] and currently we are seeing most of our patients via telehealth, to be called to be on the frontlines is very exciting. Hopefully we can make a difference,” she said.

Air Force Reserve Command has a process in place to ensure if a medical professional was mobilized, it would not negatively effect the community where they live and work.

The 927th has a legacy of assisting where help is needed. The 927th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron supported evacuations during Hurricane Maria in 2017.

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