Maryland Defense Force Serves the Community
By Maj. (MD) Rick Barnes, Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
It was bright and early on a Saturday morning in late March, members of the Maryland Defense Force assembled in the parking lot of New Shiloh Baptist Church in downtown Baltimore to assist the Maryland National Guard in providing COVID-19 vaccinations to those living in the neighborhood. Throughout the day there was a steady stream of patients receiving vaccinations. Soldiers in the MDDF provided administrative support, building security, and a qualified emergency medical technician to be ready for urgent medical treatment should the need arise.
“We are all one team,” said U.S. Army Maj. Dana Truesdale, officer-in-charge of the vaccination site and member of the Maryland Medical Detachment
Truesdale mentioned that this was actually the third week the National Guard supported vaccinations at New Shiloh Baptist Church, to provide support for crowd control and patient flow throughout the facility. She also said that having the Maryland Defense Force onsite was important for added assistance.
Many things came together to make the effort a success, the church donated their facilities, Safeway pharmacies sent vaccinators, and Baltimore City Police, Auxiliary Police and the MDDF provided site security.
A community of efforts, to include Damone Timpson, from Immaculate Cleaning Services and a U.S. Navy veteran, worked to ensure all surfaces a patient or staff member might touch were completely free of germs and viruses. He had a novel instrument called an “atomizer” that showered both ultraviolet light and a disinfectant spray solution wherever he pointed it. Once every surface and chair in the room was sanitized, he would then start the whole entire process all over again and again.
The Maryland Defense Force is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of over 170 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information on the MDDF visit www.mddf.maryland.gov.