Benzie County CERT purchases trailer with donation

The Benzie County Citizens Emergency Response Team purchased a trailer with a donation from a resident of Traverse City and member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. (Courtesy Photo)

BENZIE COUNTY — The Benzie County Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) purchased some much needed equipment thanks to a donation from a Traverse City resident.

Frank Post, emergency manager for Benzie County, said an 8 by 16 foot tandem axle trailer has been purchased for the CERT team. The trailer will be used to haul equipment and serve as a mobile command station. It features air conditioning and heating, as well as an extendable awning.

The money to purchase the trailer, $14,000, was donated by Michael Scott. Scott lives in Traverse City, but is often seen working in Benzie County as part of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.

“It has a ramp in the back for quickly loading and unloading equipment,” Post said. “The awning and air conditioning can be used to make field conditions more tolerable in cold and hot weather.”

A generator also was purchased. It will power any equipment stored in the trailer, the trailer’s air conditioning and any additional equipment needed.

Post said shelves and a workstation will be built into the trailer, as well as radio equipment.

“We’re going to add some radio equipment the CERT volunteers can communicate with people in the field,” he said.

Scott said he made the donation when he heard how dedicated the Benzie CERT team was.

“I had friends in the county emergency services that indicated the CERT team was a very dedicated group of volunteers that were struggling to perform  the job with minimal equipment,” Scott said. “I happened to be in a position where I was able to support their equipment needs. I have had the opportunity to deal with CERT at fire scenes and the Frankfort Fourth of July celebration. They are a wonderful organization. It is my pleasure to support them.”

Scott also operates a small trailer as part of his Coast Guard Auxiliary work. The trailer has a screen on the side that gives safety advice, warns of weather conditions or informs people of Coast Guard ice water rescue drills.

Post said the Benzie County CERT team was put together about five years ago, and has bout 30 volunteers. It works closely with area law enforcement and emergency medical services to provide backup during emergency situations. The team also trains with area organizations, including the Manistee CERT team.

“Both Manistee and Benzie’s CERT teams train together, so they are on the exact same page,” Post said. “If something happened in Benzie, and CERT team members were unable to respond because they were assisting family or in an emergency situation themselves, the Manistee team could come in and has the same procedures.”

For more information on the Benzie County CERT team, call (231) 882-0567 or go to www.benzieco.net and visit the Office of Emergency Management page.

 

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