By Sherry Koonce
The News staff writer
GROVES — Methodist church members from a five-county region gathered at First United Methodist Church in Groves Saturday for Disaster Early Responder training.
Sponsored by the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the day-long taught participants how to help people recover from a disaster.
Whether it was the area’s experience with three hurricanes in four years, or a strong desire to help others, the 60 in attendance was the largest group ever assembled at once in Texas for the early responder training session.
“This is a great turn-out today. The service is vitally needed. It’s important to be better prepared than to wonder what we are supposed to do after something like this happens, ” Dick White, district superintendent, said.
The church’s pastor, Alan Van Hooser, said he remembers moving to Groves shortly before Rita hit in 2005 and being unprepared for the challenges facing the community.
At Saturday’s training, those in attendance learned how to use a chainsaw, how to pile debris, clean mud from homes, repair sheetrock and, perhaps what most Southeast Texans are familiar with — how to properly install blue tarps.
“This is an opportunity to show the world the United Methodist Church cares about their plight. It’s an opportunity for Christian service and an opportunity to do something physical, something tangent with your hands,” trainer Chris Norton, said.
Once trained, the participants will be certified as early responders. If invited, they’ll travel to other parts of the country to help, but most plan to be ready to help out at home.
Robin Snoek, a member of the First United Methodist Church in Beaumont, said recent hurricanes helped her see how important it was to be trained in the event of a disaster.
“There’s something everyone can do to help. I can’t get up on the roof, but I can pile debris,” she said.
- Local News
- Candlelight vigil supports unaccompanied children
- City, DD7: pumps functioned as designed for recent storm
Young cheerleaders learn to pump up spirit at YMCA
The YMCA of Port Arthur is hosting its third summer cheerleading camp for ages four to 10. The girls, who started camp on Monday, are learning the basic fundamentals of how to raise a crowd’s spirit.
Brazos County seeing success halfway into 10-year gang injunction
The Brazos County District Attorney’s office filed its civil gang injunction against 38 individuals from two opposing gangs on Oct. 30, 2009. Since then, Kneese said that 46 gang members have been arrested, 10 of whom have received prison time.
- Electrical contractor Calvin Walker indicted for fraud in PA, BISD work
UPDATE: Released inmate takes county golf cart, chase ensues
A former Jefferson County Correctional Facility inmate must have enjoyed his time spent in the facility for public intoxication so much he couldn’t wait to be readmitted. Thirty-five minutes after Jonathan Dewayne Gloston was released from the facility, Tuesday morning, he decided to go for a golf cart ride — on a JCCF maintenance cart.
Brazos County gathers intel, sets Safety Zone to target organized crime
Mike Kneese, a criminal intelligence officer in the Special Investigation Division of the Bryan Police Department Investigations Bureau, said this world of endless drive-by shootings and gang retaliation that Brazos County sought to rectify with its first civil gang injunction, filed on Oct. 30, 2009.
- PAPD responds to family dispute, finds robbery
Anatomy of a gang injunction
Mike Kneese, a criminal intelligence officer in the Special Investigation Division of the Bryan Police Department Investigations Bureau, said that Brazos County has seen a “drastic reduction of violent crime” between Bryan’s two most violent gangs.
- Kids learn the art of entrepreneurship at Central Mall
- More Local News Headlines