BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — American Legion Post 257 in Battle Creek is launching the first of its kind A.L.E.R.T. system in support of firefighters, EMS, and police working in Calhoun County.
A.L.E.R.T. stands for American Legion Emergency Response Team and is made up of 16 people including former fire chiefs and firefighters, who are Legionnaires and members of the Sons of the American Legion.
The group has two trailers to bring to the site of emergencies where first responders are working. The trailers will serve as mobile shelters for first responders during long, on-scene emergencies such as fires, missing person searches, and natural disasters.
“The trailers are used and we’re upgrading them. The units will be stocked with snacks, water, and other items needed to aid in the on-scene recovery and sustainment of first responders,” said Del Kilbourne, A.L.E.R.T. Commander.
“The trailers will also serve as shelter -- providing warmth and cooling.” The A.L.E.R.T. program will support more than two dozen fire departments and nearly a dozen police departments across Calhoun County. “Every A.L.E.R.T. team member is connected to our local dispatch operators. We all have an app on our phone,” Kilbourne added. “We’ll get a message from dispatch when our services are needed. We’re on call 24/7 for our first responders.”
It is a service American Legion Post 257 believes advances the organization’s motto of veterans strengthening America.
“We are passionate about this. The Fire Chiefs Association welcomes the support. When I introduced the idea, they wanted to know how quickly we could get started,” Kilbourne said. “We’re giving back to our community, and I’d love for this program to be replicated nationwide.”
The A.L.E.R.T. program will launch in April. To learn more or to donate to the program, please visit http://www.alert257.org.