New Mexico National Guard helps expand medical capacity
The New Mexico National Guard helped set up this 50-bed alternate care facility in Gallup that began accepting patients April 25, 2020. Guard members also established a 200-bed temporary hospital in Gibson. (Photo Credit: Joseph Vigil) VIEW ORIGINAL

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M - The New Mexico National Guard is helping support two alternate care facilities to keep New Mexico from exceeding its medical capacity during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

NMNG Airmen and Soldiers received, unloaded and inventoried a 250-bed federal medical shelter at the 150th Special Operations Wing hangar and began repackaging to support both a 50-bed alternate care facility in Gallup and a 200-bed ACF in Gibson.

The Gibson location is being set up by New Mexico National Guard medical personnel and will be able to accommodate patients soon at a date to be determined.

"We divided the FMS up into packages to support Gallup and their 50-bed hospital as well as the 200-bed hospital currently being set up at Gibson," said Lt. Col. Fred Ginsburg, flight surgeon at the New Mexico National Guard's 150th Special Operations Wing. "We completed the inventory and are loading packages up on the trucks to be delivered for setup. Our crew previously did the Farmington federal medical shelter package, so we are familiar with at least 90% of the equipment we are seeing."

Ginsburg said the packages include everything to run a hospital, from cleaning gear to cots, IV equipment, walkers and oxygen. Beds are prepackaged with gown, bedsheet, pillow and blanket.

"Our Soldiers and Airmen have been working quickly and efficiently to get both these alternate care facilities up and running," said Maj. Gen. Ken Nava, the adjutant general of New Mexico.

"The Gallup ACF will begin receiving patients on April 25. We are working on completing the Gibson location so it is ready when needed," he said. "Along with the Farmington ACF, these additional ACF's greatly increase the governor's plan to increase medical capacity where needed most during this public health crisis."

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