Base fitness room opens with new guidelines to promote safety
By Senior Airman Sara Kolinski, 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published July 30, 2020
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts --
The Barnes Air National Guard base fitness room reopened July 20, 2020, with new guidelines and precautions in place to ensure a safe and healthy environment after being closed to limit exposure of COVID-19.
The fitness room is now open for use by members assigned to the 104th Fighter Wing at designated times with social distancing precautions and guidelines for wearing face masks and cleaning.
"Our fitness rooms have a new look and feel to them," said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Nihill, 104th Fighter Wing Fatality Search and Rescue Team Non-Commissioned Officer. "It was cleaned top-to-bottom, our equipment was inspected and rearranged, and the facility has been newly painted.” In addition, members who want to use the facility have to sign and agree to a new user agreement, Nihill said.
Members from the Security Forces Squadron helped the FSS team get the space ready by moving equipment around so the space would be more efficient and open.
“Safety, public health, and the fire department have all done their risk assessments and inspections,” Nihill said.
The goal is to maintain a safe environment while giving Airmen the ability to keep up with their fitness routines and readiness.
Lt. Col. Sherri Hrovatin, 104 FW FSS Commander, said the goal is to maintain an environment where everyone is practicing social distancing, sanitizing, and cleaning up so that Airmen can maintain fitness.
"Having the base fitness room open and staffed with FSS personnel from 0600 to midnight during the week allows for our 104th Airmen to maintain their readiness, relieve stress and maintain their mental well-being in a safe and sanitary environment," said Hrovatin. The Wellness Center and the base fitness room allow Airmen a place to take care of their Comprehensive Fitness needs, she said. “Comprehensive Airman Fitness is a philosophy and methodology of taking care of people. CAF allows us to ensure that we are taking care of our Airmen, providing for their physical, mental and social fitness."
There are currently Force Support Squadron Airmen manning the fitness room during operational hours answering any questions and ensuring that the capacity is not exceeded. Although the FSS is not staffed to operate a gym, they have Airmen on orders helping to meet the current needs, said Nihill.
"The precautions are everybody's responsibilities," Nihill said. "If we don't look out for our health and safety, we are at risk of the fitness room closing again. Everyone should be cleaning and sanitizing the equipment before and after use with the products provided, wearing masks when entering, exiting, and transitioning between equipment and in the common areas, and most of all, staying home when they're sick."