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419th medics return from COVID-19 response effort in NYC

Capt. Andrea Morgan (right), a reservist in the 419th Medical Squadron, poses with a coworker during a deployment to New York City at the height of the city's coronavirus pandemic in April.

Capt. Andrea Morgan (right), a reservist in the 419th Medical Squadron, poses with a coworker during a deployment to New York City at the height of the city's coronavirus pandemic in April. Morgan worked at the Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, treating COVID-19 patients. (Courtesy photo)

Maj. Katherine Trout and Maj. Jimmy Jones, reservists in the 419th Medical Squadron, are part of a small group of Airmen who left from the Salt Lake City airport today for the New York City area to help with COVID-19 response

Maj. Katherine Trout and Maj. Jimmy Jones, reservists in the 419th Medical Squadron, are part of a small group of Airmen who left from the Salt Lake City airport today for the New York City area to help with COVID-19 response. (U.S. Air Force photo)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Medics from the 419th Fighter Wing who deployed to support the COVID-19 response effort in New York City in early in April are now home.  

Return deployers Capt. Andrea Morgan and Maj. Jimmy Jones, both nurse practitioners, and Maj. Katherine Trout, a registered nurse, recently returned home and completed a two-week quarantine period before going back to their civilian jobs.

They each serve as part-time reservists in the wing’s medical squadron and full time as medical providers at local area medical facilities.

While deployed, Morgan and Trout were assigned to the Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, while Jones worked at the Javits Center in Manhattan, which was converted to an alternate care facility in preparation for any overflow of patients from NYC-area hospitals.  

The team of medics cared for hundreds of COVID-19 patients while in New York and each said they were honored to provide care on the home front while serving in uniform.

“We certainly didn’t know what to expect when we first arrived, as there were so many unknowns, but our military and medical training has taught us to roll with the punches, take in information and adapt, and that’s what we did," Morgan said.

The deployment was part of a larger Air Force Reserve mobilization package consisting of hundreds of doctors, nurses, and respiratory technicians who were sent to NYC care for Americans at New York hospitals and the Javits Center.

“It was a life-changing experience to be able to see people in New York come together to care for the sick,” Morgan added. “Everyone there made sacrifices – the community, first responders, doctors and nurses all came together as a community.”

New York City has so far been the hardest hit by COVID-19 and is currently considered the epicenter for the coronavirus in the United States.

The 419th MDS is made up of more than 100 Reserve Citizen Airmen who train in a variety of specialties. More than 90 percent of its personnel are traditional reservists who serve part time while pursuing full-time careers in the civilian sector.