News Updates

Dallas, TX Tornado Relief: Dec. 30, 2015 – Jan. 9, 2016

On December 26th, Dallas area residents were jolted from the season’s festive mood by severe weather alerts and tornado warning sirens. Overnight, hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed and eleven people lost their lives. The Rapid Response Team immediately began contacting local authorities to determine the level of assistance required. Our friends in Samaritan’s Purse called us requesting a team to help their efforts in the Garland and Roweltt neighborhoods, east of Dallas. On December 30th, seven ALERT officers and NCO’s travelled from their homes to help with the initial relief effort, alongside several hundred other volunteers. The damage was incredible with roofs torn off on hundreds of homes and structural damage to hundreds of others. Many houses were left as a pile of rubble or a concrete foundation. The team assisted with debris cleanup and short term roof repair until several of the men had to return home for their full time employment. A member of the Rapid Response Team remained in the area working with the Samaritan’s Purse volunteers until the ALERT Training Battalion, which arrived January 4th, was able to deploy the Emergency Response Training unit to continue the relief work. The thirty-five man deployment split into two groups sending some to the Red Oak tornado relief effort in addition to the Rowlett site. For most of these men this was their first opportunity to serve in the disaster relief field. They rose to the challenge and shared God’s love with those they worked alongside. The deployment lasted until January 9th, when ERT returned to the Academy to begin training in many emergency response fields.

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Working atop a badly damaged roof 1Lt. David Marr and MSgt. Sam Wearden secure a tarp to prevent further water damage inside the home.

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Sgt. Brendan Dhority and Rsp. Sam Kane take a meal break with Mark, a local volunteer.

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ERT arrived with serious manpower in both Rowlett and Red Oak.

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Tornadoes always involve tree damage. All Responders receive chainsaw operation and maintenance training.

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Encouraging a homeowner after the work is done.

Unit 54 Advancement

This last Friday, Unit 54 advanced from Basic Training with 40 men. The men were praising God for what He had done in their lives over the last nine weeks and soon family members were talking about the change in their sons.

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Families of recruits are entertained at a reception and shown the Advanced Training available at ALERT.

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Basic Training Unit 54 prepares for Drill & Ceremony; a presentation of complex marching maneuvers requiring precision and attention to little details.

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The men receive their certificate of advancement and are congratulated by their officers on stage before their final dismissal.

Unit 54 Basic Responder Challenge

Basic Training Unit 54 spent their Thanksgiving week engaged in the Basic Responder Challenge, a three day competition involving physical, navigational, and mental challenges. Reformed for the Challenge into six squads, the men faced new team dynamics while tackling a variety of tasks, some old and rehearsed, others new and unique.

 

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The unit forms up to run the obstacle course at the beginning of day two’s Adventure Race.

Veterans week and the 24

This last week ALERT has had the opportunity to honor U.S. military veterans at multiple events in the area through color guard and choral performances. These included a parade, a high school special event, a church service, and finished with our own banquet on Thursday night.

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The ALERT Color Guard at our annual banquet for Veterans and First Responders.

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The ALERT mixed chorus performed a patriotic tribute to the Armed Services.

 

Meanwhile, Basic Training Unit 54 completed their Endurance Hike of approximately fifty-four miles within twenty-four hours.

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Unit 54’s Senior Drill Sergeant,  SFC Nicholas Greenlee, addresses the unit as they prepare to hike.

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The column stretches out over the difficult climb on “the rockfall.”

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The trail snakes through the mountains and woods of the Ouachita National Forest in eastern Oklahoma.

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Captain Keon Pendergast congratulates the unit in the early morning after the hike’s finish.

Unit 53 Sawyer Deployment to Ivanhoe, Texas

 

Deploying 30 men to help a family clean up an extensive number of twisted and mangled trees after a tornado swept through their area, ALERT was able to put in over 330 man-hours of service in one day.

 

Here are just a few photos from Unit 53’s ERT service deployment to Ivanhoe, Texas.

 

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Moving to another work site. The men helped drop and remove trees in an area of over 50 acres.

 

 

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The ALERT saw trailer

 

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Taking a break to sharpen chains and maintenance saws

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