Minnesota military medic helping combat COVID-19 on east coast

A plane full of U.S. Army Reserve service members in their fatigues left Milwaukee last week bound for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.

There were doctors, nurses, medics and other staff that were going to help with medical care in the New York City region that has seen the most COVID-19 cases in the country.

"It’s a great opportunity to help out and do what I’ve trained for, do my job and serve the people, so it’s really meaningful for me,” said Sgt. Chuck Thibault, an Army Reserve Medic from Shoreview. “Hopefully, my defining moment in my career."

Thibault’ s career got off to a memorable start when he helped save a teenager injured in a motorcycle crash in the North Metro shortly after completing Army medic training in 2018.

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Now, Thibault is helping at a make-shift hospital at a New Jersey convention center during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s definitely interesting seeing it all first hand," he said. "It kind of pushes away all your doubts that you had before."

Thibault said he and other Army reservists from St. Paul are helping see a variety of patients that are brought to the convention center from area hospitals. They work 12-hour shifts to help ease area hospital staff that are seeing an influx of patients.

The local service members are part of the 807th MC (DS) COVID-19 Army Reserve medical response mission.

More than 900 service members across the command have been called to mobilize to support the effort to combat the pandemic, the Army Reserve said in an online post.