COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– A group of soldiers at Fort Carson are being trained on how to use protective equipment as they prepare to deploy to West Africa to help with the Ebola outbreak.
The soldiers are learning all the proper procedures with suiting up in protective gear.
“You’re going to have to unzip your suit to get your hood off, don’t stick your gloves inside your suit,” said one soldier who was instructing the troops.
The epidemic in West Africa has killed about 4,800 people. In the United States, the first person diagnosed with the disease was a Liberian man, who fell ill days after arriving in Dallas and later died, becoming the only fatality in the U.S.
Some 160 soldiers with the 615th Engineer Company, 52nd Engineer Battalion at Fort Carson Army Post are preparing for their deployment to West Africa.
“It’s a very rare opportunity. I’m very excited for it. The soldiers of 615th are very excited for it,” said one soldier.
“We’ve never seen an outbreak of Ebola like this ever and they’re choosing us to go over there and truly make a difference,” said another soldier.
The troops will build facilities to support the U.S. aid effort to help contain the spread of the potentially deadly disease. While they won’t be treating Ebola patients, it’s still a risky mission.
“I see there’s a hole in his uniform, what would we do to correct that?” asked the instructor during training.
Once the mission is complete the soldiers will undergo extensive screenings and assessments before they can return home.
“Nobody will be allowed back here that poses any risk to the public and the community because our number one priority is the safety of the soldiers, their families and the community,” said Lt. Col. Robert Price, Division Surgeon for the 4th Infantry Division of Fort Carson.
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