The first Disaster Relief training of the year was held at Indian Springs Baptist Church in Bryant on Saturday, March 12. With a total of 120 participants, 42 new volunteers were trained in various disciplines that were offered. Winter precipitation that fell Friday afternoon into the evening left some with no option but to not make the trip. However, turnout was still better than expected with snow on the ground.
Chaplaincy training, which is normally not held at every training session, will be available this year at every event. This is in addition to the other disciplines of chainsaw, feeding, flood recovery, shower/laundry, mud-out and Incident Command.
The next training event will be held at Nettleton Baptist Church in Jonesboro on April 2. Click here to register today.
As new and experienced volunteers were either learning or recertifying their qualifications, the Red River Association Feeding Unit was out using their training in real time.
Every year, the Arkansas Search and Rescue Association (ASRA) hosts a training event on the second weekend in March. Arkansas first responders and volunteers, as well as some from out of state, register to attend the weekend event.
Through some connections within the ASRA system, David McAllister, who has been one of the unit leaders for the Red River feeding unit for two years, said that they offered to feed first responders and volunteers in search and rescue situations, if needed.
“This led to the conversation of coming out and feeding the training event that they held,” McAllister said. “So, we’ve been feeding them breakfast and lunch on that Saturday and Sunday of the training for six years now.”
This year’s training brought 100 participants to the Arkadelphia area. Some bring their own food, but the feeding unit still ended up serving 75 people.
While Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief trainings usually prepare people to help in a disaster, volunteers often find themselves serving their community in other ways. That is truly what being a part of the yellow shirt family is all about—being a helping hand, wherever, whenever and being the hands and feet of Jesus.