NFARS implements temperature checks at gates

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kelsey Martinez
  • 914th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Col. Mark Larson, commander of the 914th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) and Col. Gary Charlton, commander of the 107th Attack Wing (ATKW) initiated temperature checks for all individuals entering the base beginning Monday, April 13, until further notice.

“We have a total force of six separate units on our installation, each with a responsibility to complete our common mission to support and defend our nation,” said Larson. “We can’t complete our mission if we don’t do everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Temperature checks screen everyone entering the base for those potentially infected with COVID-19, said Lt. Col. Shelley Durante, commander of the 914th Aeromedical Staging Squadron (ASTS). It also provides numbers, gathering data, for the Public Health Officer to report to the wing commander.

“Medical does have its place,” said Durante. “We [in the military] fight wars, but medical takes care of everyone who fights those wars.”

During a time of crisis it is imperative to plan, prepare, execute, and reevaluate accordingly to ensure maximum protection is being implemented.

The 914th ASTS is leading the screening process as a total force initiative with participating members from several units across the installation. Ambulances stand ready at the gate to provide coverage for workers and supplies, along with a place to store the no-touch thermometers being used to minimize the risk of spreading infection.

“We can’t make smart decisions if we don’t have data to back it up,” said Durante. “We are the largest employer in Niagara County, and we must continue our mission while minimizing the risk of spreading infection.”

There are safety cones, traffic monitors and two individuals checking temperatures; supplies such as gloves and facemasks are provided for those standing post at the front gate.

“If they do have a high temperature we are giving them a handout that goes through all of the directions on what to do if they think they have COVID-19,” said Durante. “They are then directed to self-isolate, contact their supervisor and seek medical attention immediately.”