By Capt Matthew T. Mutti, Wing Executive Staff Officer, 104FW
/ Published October 04, 2008
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- Barnes Air National Guard Base is currently the 3rd largest employer in Westfield, and its payroll annually exceeds that of 95% of the business within a 30 mile radius, it is a strong contributor to the Western Massachusetts tax base, and a long-time member of the Westfield Chamber of Commerce.
Annually the base hosts a quarterly chamber breakfast during which more than 190 local business leaders come to Barnes to learn more about what the chamber does for them, and how better they can serve the chamber.
On 26 September, Airman 1st Class Kayla Bartlett, Services Apprentice, coordinated a breakfast for these business leaders and continued a great tradition started more then 15 years ago by Senior Master Sgt. William Butman, the Services NCOIC.
This breakfast culminated with three key note speakers, Col. Robert Brooks Jr., 104th Fighter Wing Commander, Lt. Col. (ret) James Wiggs, Westfield Emergency Manager, and Tom Tremblay, Nobel Hospital Emergency Management Preparation Team. These individuals spoke on the importance of Emergency management and disaster preparedness.
Col. Brooks spoke about Emergency Management at a national level, citing examples from his experience with Hurricane Katrina. Mr Wiggs, spoke about integrated command and control at the city level, while Mr. Tremblay spoke about business level emergency preparedness.
"The hospital conducted an internal exercise to simulate the loss of water, not 3-weeks later, there was a problem with the water line, and our preparation paid off," said Mr. Tremblay.
The members who supported this event did a fantastic job setting up, serving, cooking, cleaning and serving as greeters. The team effort was notice by all who attended and the wing continues to shine as the premiere business in Westfield.