There's a group of people working long hours behind-the-scenes during the coronavirus crisis.
On Wednesday, Connecticut National Guard members showed NBC Connecticut inside their New Britain distribution warehouse, which we're told, has been an integral part of the response in our state since mid-March.
“Now you’re looking at medical supplies, you’re looking at PPE, procedure masks, surgical masks, gloves, and a whole host of other medical supplies," said Captain Raymond Fortier.
Fortier said the members work in three shifts, seven days a week, to get supplies to where they are needed in Conn.
Conn. National Guard members we’ve heard from signed up to serve our state in a time of need, but this pandemic is different from their typical duties like during storm relief.
“This a little bit different. There’s been a whole host of challenges and adjustments we’ve had to face, just like everybody else in our state, but the great thing about the National Guard is we’re so adaptive. That’s how we’re trained to operate,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Tucker.
Instead of working with state agencies and first responders to deliver food, water, and cots to communities, these men and women have had to adapt to receiving and shipping out the new need.
“You have blizzards and disaster relief for hurricanes, and this pandemic I don’t think anyone really expected to come about. And, we’re making it work," said Captain Fortier.
He is one of many National Guard Members here whose life has changed since the start of the pandemic,. “I was going from working at home, working for Travelers to now being in the warehouse working 12-16 hour days,” he said.
This duty is a perfect for First Lt. Ashley Noel who works as a distribution center manager in her civilian life. “Right now it’s a critical time here in Connecticut and the United States. It’s honor to work such great leaders,” she added.
Like so many folks around our state, Conn. Guard Members are adjusting to the circumstances and are working as a team to serve our community.
“The reason why myself and so many of the soldiers joined was to make a difference and help the people of Connecticut," said Captain Fortier.
A captain with the Conn. National Guard said they will continue working countless hours until there’s no longer a need here in our state.