Above: Spc. Zachary Sesay, left, and Sgt. Lennette Cabrera, both with 543rd Composite Supply Company, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI), perform maintenance May 14 on a water regulator outside of Bowe Troop Medical Clinic on Fort Drum, N.Y. Bowe Clinic is the installation’s COVID-19 treatment facility. Health care professionals from the clinic use the showers to mitigate the chances of them transmitting the virus back home after a day of treating patients. Right: A nurse from Bowe Troop Medical Clinic signs in May 14 before using a shower. (U.S. Army photos by Warren W. Wright Jr., Fort Drum Medical Activity Public Affairs)
Sustainment unit employs wartime expertise
to support COVID-19 treatment facility on post
Fort Drum MEDDAC
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (May 19, 2020) – Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division’s 10th Sustainment Brigade are using their wartime skills and equipment to support Fort Drum health care professionals in the fight against COVID-19.
Soldiers from the brigade’s 543rd Composite Supply Company, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, have constructed field shower and laundry facilities outside Bowe Troop Medical Clinic, Fort Drum Medical Activity’s COVID-19 treatment facility. Before leaving work for the day, health care providers at the clinic use the shower facilities and leave their day’s laundry before heading home.
“They are providing reassurance for us that when we finish up a day of seeing highly contagious patients, we can go out and not take it home to our families,” said Capt. Isaac Mills, the COVID-19 treatment facility’s officer in charge. “This is not only reassurance for us, but more so allowing our families to let us back into the house. My wife was very happy about the fact I was able to come home effectively safe.”
Set up just outside Bowe Clinic, the 543rd CSC Soldiers constructed a tent with 12 shower stalls, and they’re using one of their laundry advanced system (LADS) trailers, containing two large washer / dryer drums. The LADS can clean and sanitize sizable amounts of clothes with water hot enough to kill bacteria and other microorganisms.
Before showering, providers from Bowe secure their used laundry in special netted bags, which 543rd CSC Soldiers collect at the end of the day. The CSC Soldiers then wash and fold the clothes, ensuring they are ready for the Bowe team the next day.
“I’m glad to have the opportunity to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Pfc. Trevarious Mathis, a shower and laundry specialist with 543rd CSC. “We try to help as much as we can by supporting (the Bowe Clinic) through this hardship we face as a country.”
Before and during the use of the showers, 543rd CSC Soldiers continually monitor and maintain the specialized field pumping and water regulation equipment to ensure the Bowe staff have steady access to running, hot water.
“We really appreciate their support,” Mills added. “They were immediately willing to help. There was no question. When we needed them, they showed up, and we’ve been happy to have them here.”
The shower and laundry facilities will remain at the Bowe Clinic for the foreseeable future as the MEDDAC providers continue to care for COVID-19 patients throughout the epidemic.
A laundry advanced system, or LADS, trailer from 543rd Composite Supply Company, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI) sits in the parking lot of Bowe Troop Medical Clinic on Fort Drum, N.Y. Soldiers with 543rd CSC are using the LADS to clean and sanitize clothing worn by staff at Bowe Clinic after caring for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. (U.S. Army photo by Warren W. Wright Jr., Fort Drum Medical Activity Public Affairs)