Kan. Wing Assisting State with Lab Specimen Transport
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) has requested additional resources from the Kansas Wing to perform critical lab specimen transport as part of the agency’s integrated and rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kansas Wing made additional resources and members available to be tasked as part of the transport mission, including vehicles and aircraft. “Our capable volunteers are always willing to serve when needed,” said Col. Linette Lahan, wing commander. “For several years now, our volunteers have transported blood for the American Red Cross, and we welcome this new opportunity to serve as our state responds to this health crisis.”
Wing members reported to the state’s Emergency Operations Center on March 13 to augment logistics and planning staff.
As of March 20, the wing has supported the state's response to COVID-19 by transporting specimens from rural and remote areas to KDEM’s laboratory in Topeka. These transports are important because reaching the lab with specimens in time is often a race against the clock. To be effective, the specimens must be delivered to the lab within 48 hours, as the tests are viable for only72 hours.
CAP volunteers performed multiple lab specimen transports over the weekend and will continue to provide that service as needed.
To support the mission, Civil Air Patrol has prepared a checklist for packing and shipping lab specimens. The checklist was developed by the CAP Health Services team through contacts with the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Health Human Services and coordinated with National Headquarters staff. It was approved by Maj. Gen Mark Smith, CAP national commander, in time for Kansas Wing to support KDEM.