Recently, Governor Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts, but it is not for inclement weather. It’s for a bus driver shortage, and Shriner and Pat George have enlisted the expertise of Slick to cover this story. Two hundred fifty members of that Mass National guard are currently activated to help cities and towns get kids to school due to the shortage of the company that provides drivers. The NRT Bus Company has reported a 10% loss of employees before the pandemic, and the number has increased post-pandemic. Shriner Pat and Slick believe that outside of Covid reasons, there may be a rush to work for other companies like Amazon, who recently reported that they would be paying up to a Bachelors’s degree, claims Shriner. There has even been a big surge of Amazon workers in the St. Pete area due to an upcoming warehouse, Slick recalls.
Shriner refers to the matter at hand, which is that we see the citizen-soldiers activated for non-disaster-like reasons. Slick, a 12 year veteran of the Florida National Guard, states that there is a duty to aide the state in its time of need so they can get called for anything. Slick recalls the time he was down in Sarasota managing a Covid-19 test site, and even before that, he was aiding the food pantry during the pandemic. The National Guard has a state and federal mission which means they have more responsibilities than your active-duty units. Apart from disasters and Covid-19 relief Slick has been called for riot patrol, so he doesn’t seem shocked by this turn of events. To Slick’s knowledge, he expects Massachusetts to activate a Transportation Battalion as they would have been most qualified for this mission. Governor Charlie Baker has required National Guard Soldiers to further expand on their training by taking NRT Bus Companies Training.