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Reno TSA worker deployed to assist vaccine efforts in Chicago

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 9:57 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Government is now using Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers to push the COVID-19 vaccination process forward, moving them around the country where needed. In fact, a local TSA employee was just assigned to help the effort in Illinois.

“I truly like making a difference in the lives of other people if I can, in a positive way.”

Brenda McGranahan, TSA Manager, Reno-Tahoe Intervational Airport

Serving others is in Brenda McGranahan’s blood. She’s dedicated nearly 20 years of her life to protecting travelers’ wellbeing at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO).

“I just wanted to do something to keep our nation safe and that was the best way I could do it,” McGranahan said.

She had applied to volunteer on the TSA’s Surge Capacity Force, a program for federal employees within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies that allows non-FEMA employees an opportunity to support disaster response efforts. These individuals leave their regular jobs and deploy for up to 45 days to assist FEMA where needed in the response effort.

McGranahan added, “When I signed up, I wasn’t thinking about vaccination pods, I thought I would be responding to an area hit by a natural disaster. I said I’ll go and do whatever you need me to do.”

In a matter of days, she was deployed to Chicago to work vaccine registration operations for employees at the three airports in the Chicago area.

“People come in, they checked in at the front, I come and make sure their information is correct, and then I fill out their vaccination card,” McGranahan said, “Then I hand them off to another person who takes them back to the nurses who administer the vaccine for them.”

She’s been a part of helping hundreds, if not thousands of people get their COVID-19 shot during her month-and-a-half assignment away from home.

McGranahan added, “It is hard, I do call home every single day. I just feel joy and excitement to be able to help in this process and know that hopefully, I’m making a difference.”

This is her first time being deployed with the Surge Capacity Force but says it won’t be her last.

McGranahan will be returning to her family in Reno on Sunday, April 11, 2021.

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