The Eastern PA Conference Disaster Response Ministry (DRM) will sponsor a Emergency Response Team training on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 8 AM to 4 PM, at Grove UMC, 490 W Boot Road, West Chester, PA. Register now.
The early fall training event, offered locally several times a year, is open to all. It offers training for initial response after disasters, not the later recovery work done by UM Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) teams. Grove UMC is the latest church to partner with the conference DRM as a training host.
The mission of Early Response Teams (ERTs) is to provide skilled support to disaster survivors as soon as communities allow response teams into disaster-impacted areas. Robert Simcox, the conference’s Disaster Response Coordinator, will lead the ERT training. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-427-0470.
The training cost is only $25 per person and includes a training manual, other materials, a light breakfast and lunch. Trainees will receive a ERT badge after completion.
Early Response Teams are “background-checked, badged, trained and motivated to be a caring, listening Christian presence,” said Simcox. “You will learn how early responders prevent further damage by tarping roofs, stabilizing structure, and clearing out debris and water-soaked materials.
ERTs know how to prepare a structure for UMVIM recovery teams to do their work and how to “provide hope to desperate survivors that God’s people do care about their lives and their homes,” Simcox explained.
“The goal is for you to have a better understanding of the roles of team members and the “team” as a whole, the concepts of ‘prevent further damage’ and ‘do no harm,’ and an understanding of where ERT fits into the disaster response process. We will also cover the importance of safety and the importance of listening.
“Presently we have a shortage of trained and badged ERT’s in our conference,” said Simcox. “We are looking to grow the ERT ministry to be able to respond as quickly as possible in our own neighborhoods and beyond when disaster strikes.”