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Guard assisting with PPE collections

COLUMBUS — Approximately 30 members of the Ohio National Guard and Ohio Military Reserve are supporting the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the Ohio Department of Health with the state’s collection of personal protective equipment, which is worn to minimize exposure to hazards.

“I’m glad to have the Ohio National Guard and Ohio Military Reserve helping in this effort,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “There is a limited supply of personal protective equipment. We must enlist every possible asset in our state to increase those resources. I urge anyone who has these items to come forward.”

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, includes medical gloves, surgical gowns, N95 respirator masks and face shields.

The Ohio Military Reserve (OHMR), based in Columbus, is receiving, inventorying, storing and packaging PPE, while Ohio Air National Guard members are supporting the Ohio Department of Health with logistics and warehousing capacity.

The Ohio Air National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing, located in Mansfield, has also received medication, water and PPE for redistribution when needed.

“Our Citizen-soldiers and -airmen are ready and eager to step forward and serve their fellow Ohioans,” said Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general. “The medical professionals working on the front line in the battle against COVID-19 must have the proper health protection in order to be able to treat patients and save lives.”

Businesses, organizations or individuals that would like to donate PPE should email together@governor.ohio.gov.

Approximately 500 Ohio National Guard and OHMR members continue to support 12 regional food bank warehouses across the state, which provide food in all 88 counties.

They are sorting, packing and delivering food to the state’s most vulnerable populations. In the first two weeks, 2.7 million pounds of food was packaged and 2.5 million pounds of food was distributed.

The Ohio National Guard is also helping to facilitate an on-the-ground assessment of the COVID-19 health situation across the state.

to determine what additional medical facility capacity is needed.

The Ohio National Guard was established in 1788 as the Northwest Territory Militia, and has more than 16,000 Army and Air National Guard personnel across Ohio who respond when called for federal, state, and community missions.

The OHMR is a component of Ohio’s state defense force and serves under the command of the adjutant general.

It is based in Columbus and has approximately 220 members who may be called by the governor to aid civil authorities through providing medical and logistical support, as well as volunteer reception and management.