Two Nicholasville city workers put on National Guard hats, deployed

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) — With National Guardsmen activated throughout the country during crises of various kinds, two City of Nicholasville employees are currently deployed to help with Hurricane Ida relief and the COVID-19 response: Michael Wayne and Matthew Leasor.

Among the 15 National Guardsmen deployed to the St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead is Michael Wayne, the Director of Safety for the City of Nicholasville, who also serves as a Major in the National Guard. The Guard has come to help manage the non-clinical aspects of the hospital’s response to overwhelming COVID-19 cases.

“It is our mission to provide non-clinical support to hospitals throughout Kentucky during this time of increased cases of COVID-19 and to alleviate some stress from the healthcare workers who have worked tirelessly and selflessly during this pandemic,” said Major Wayne. “Kentucky Army National Guard Soldiers are well-trained, highly motivated, and are more than willing to provide selfless service to the citizens of Kentucky.  I hope that our presence helps to encourage everyone  that we are all in this together and that the Kentucky Army National Guard is here for them.”

Wayne, a native of Jessamine County, has been the Director of Safety for the City of Nicholasville since 2019. The position charges him with ensuring safety standards across every department in the city.

Prior to continuing his career in public safety as the safety director, Wayne was a firefighter for the Nicholasville Fire Department.

Further south, the Military Police Unit of Richmond has been deployed to a small parish outside of New Orleans in Louisiana to aid local law enforcement following Hurricane Ida’s destruction in the area. Specialist Matthew Leasor, a Class 1 Operator for the Nicholasville Wastewater Treatment Plant and also a Specialist in the Army National Guard’s Military Police Unit of Richmond, was among those deployed.

“It’s been kind of eye opening to see the aftermath of a hurricane,” said Specialist Leasor. “It’s not something you see in Nicholasville—the downed powerlines, fallen trees.”

In addition to the shock of the hurricane damage, activation with the National Guard can come with little warning. “We don’t always know ahead of time when we’ll be sent somewhere,” said Specialist Leasor. “They told us on a Wednesday to get ready, and within 24 hours we were gone.”

Though it is unknown how long the Guard’s assistance will be needed in either location, the teams are prepared to stay as long as needed.

The City of Nicholasville has two other employees who currently serve in the National Guard as well: fire fighter Daniel Meyer, and Steven Willis, a police officer.

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