Almost two dozen National Guardsmen were deployed to help Grady Hospital with COVID-19 response

ATLANTA — Twenty-one National Guardsmen were sent to Grady Memorial hospital to assist with health care needs. This is much needed as many hospitals across the country are struggling to keep up with the demand brought on by the number of COVID-19 patients.

Channel 2′s Kristen Holloway was there and spoke to some of the troops as they were starting their second day assisting at the hospital.

“We’re all excited to really learn,” said Lt. Austin Scales.

Scales is the officer in charge here at Grady.

He’s just one of the 100 National Guardsmen who were deployed across the state by Governor Brian Kemp to help with the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Lt. Scales says a total of 21 soldiers were assigned to Grady to assist with general health care needs.

“Some of them are patient administrators so they’re helping out with some of the nurses and clinical staff and some of them are medics as well so they’re in triage and helping out where needed. We’re also helping out in the supply room and anything really needed by the Grady hospital staff. We’re just happy to help in any capacity,” said Scales.

Nearly 5,600 people are battling the virus right now in hospitals across the state.

Lt. Scales says the staff at Grady makes sure the soldiers have full PPE to stay safe.

“Face mask, gloves, we get face shields and scrubs as well. So they really go to the full extend to make sure that we and everyone is taken care of in full protection,” said Scales.

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The 21 National Guardsmen are projected to be at Grady until the end of the year, but that could be extended.

“This a great hands on experience and real world training to put to practice so with that it’s been a great opportunity for these soldiers to be exposed,” said Scales.