Mass. National Guard to provide school transportation assistance in Holyoke | News
HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM/AP) — Members of the Massachusetts National Guard will be heading to Western Massachusetts to help with school transportation.
On Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker activated up to 250 guard personnel that would be available to serve as drivers of school transport vans.
The state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security said Friday that the guard’s transportation mission has been expanded to include five more communities – including Brockton, Framingham, Holyoke, Quincy, and Woburn – at the request of local officials.
More than 190 members of the guard completed vehicle training like any school transportation worker and be operating transport vans known as “7D vehicles,” not the familiar long school buses, according to the state. Some of those have been deployed in four cities north of Boston that have dealt with driver shortage, including Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn.
It’s not clear how long the guard would be helping with busing or how many districts it plans to support, but Baker stressed the busing duties won’t interfere with the guard’s ability to respond to other major state emergencies.
“The Guard has a proven track record of success supporting civilian authorities,” the governor said in a statement. “Their frequent side-by-side training with state and local first responders makes them well-suited for a variety of missions.”
Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.
Copyright 2021 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. All rights reserved.