On July 19, 2023

National Guard tours Killington


By Polly Mikula

Frank Pastor and Patrick Hemenway, two members of the state’s National Guard Response Force (NGRF), toured damages in Killington, Monday, July 17, with Selectman Jim Haff.

“Our job is to be the liaison between the state and the local response, you know…whether it’s the Select Board or whoever the emergency managers are at the time there’s a state of emergency,” explained Pastor. “We play the conduit and make sure that the state is getting the correct information and that the towns or communities are getting the correct information as well. And make sure that everything’s being addressed appropriately, because the state gets overwhelmed with the number of responses.”

“We’re here because there wasn’t enough information to decide where Killington was at in terms of what we needed to do to get to the next step. So they sent us out to figure out what that information is and to funnel it back to the state, and then the state decides what the response is at that point,” explained Hemenway.

When asked what they saw touring Killington, they quipped that Killington was ahead of many communities in its response by having a lot of resources lined up and working already to rebuild its roads and infrastructure. 

“We saw that Jim [Haff] seems to have everything under control, and not much is not much required for us at this point because they already got FEMA stopping by,” said Pastor. “You know, obviously there’s road damage, but they already had companies lined up to mitigate damage and get started on the repairs.”

“We just need FEMA to reimburse us for the cost of this emergency work,” Selectman Haff said. 

Prior to visiting Killington Hemenway and Pastor visited Cabot, Marshfield, Calais and Berlin.  

The two servicemen, along with many others, will continue visiting towns through Saturday, July 22, gathering information for the state.

After each visit, the National Guardsmen write a report.

“We report on each location to just make sure the state emergency coordinators have the information that we had, and everything matches up for who the POC is, what their issues are, and then the resources requested,” explained Hemenway. “What we’re trying to do is ensure that the resources that they have requested—or maybe haven’t quite gotten to requesting—make it to the state and are prioritized appropriately.”

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