ALERT Academy Members Head To Indonesia - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/12/05-Longview

ALERT Academy Members Head To Indonesia

Men of the international ALERT Academy in Big Sandy train in specific disaster relief techniques that are intended to make an immediate and effective impact on victims of any disaster. Now, they'll now put that training to use in places like politically unstable Haiti and tsunami ravaged Indonesia.

"Primarily, I just want to do the right thing for people wherever I'm from. My focus is treating people how they ought to be treated and giving them my best," says ALERT team member Darren Thompson, who is going to Haiti.

Two scout members will go to Indonesia on Friday to set up field clinics to treat the sick and assess where additional members will go.

"We train in all kinds of emergency skills, just about everything out there in the emergency realm we do it, when we go into a disaster area, we don't go in telling them this is what we're going to do, we also say what are the needs you have what can we help you do," says ALERT Academy commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel John Tanner.

They've performed well in numerous disaster efforts over their 11 year existence, such as the Florida hurricanes and the Columbia shuttle recovery effort. Now, they'll go into remote areas of Indonesia looking for the sick and injured, and instructors say the kind of skills they possess in rescue, paramedic and first aid are desperately needed.

"God has blessed us with the opportunity to go and serve these people who are in a great deal of need," says ALERT team member Steven Powers, who is headed to Indonesia.

Mostly, they'll go to help a devastated people get their lives back together.

"These men every time they're called upon you can see it in their faces, the eagerness, the desire, they're being trained to serve with these skills," says Tanner.

There are 90 cadets in any given class of the ALERT Academy, and training is completed in 14 months, with many going on to be firefighters or law enforcement professionals. Trips to disaster relief areas are funded by donations.

For more information on the ALERT Academy or how to make a donation, click on the Know More on 7 icon.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.

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