NCH Statement on National Guard Presence at Hospital
As part of Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s ongoing coronavirus response and planning efforts, the hospital will welcome four members of the Massachusetts National Guard and Massachusetts Air National Guard this week who will assist with security needs, traffic control, and other logistical support at NCH. These service members will help NCH to ensure the safety and security of our patients during this challenging time.
The National Guard service members have been dispatched to Nantucket under orders from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, detailed to the Nantucket Police Department, and assigned to NCH by Police Chief Bill Pittman.
The National Guard service members will serve as part of the Hospital Incident Command structure. We anticipate that they would play a critical role in providing security and traffic control in the event of a surge of coronavirus patients at NCH that could result in a large number of patients, visitors, and vehicles seeking access to the hospital campus and facility.
We are sensitive to the fact that the presence of these National Guard service members could be intimidating for some residents of Nantucket. We want to assure the community that their role is simply to assist in the hospital’s ability to respond effectively to the coronavirus threat, and they will not be involved in any federal immigration enforcement activities.