When the Toledo area was alerted to the water crisis, the Coast Guard Auxiliary put in motion an emergency alert program within their unit. The Everbridge system notified members of the unit by text, phone and e-mail of situations and all who were available were directed to respond on Sunday to the Red Cross headquarters located at 3100 Central in Toledo. For three days, 35 to 40 members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, under the command of Commodore Llornes Chenevert, loaded trucks and delivered water to homebound individuals. On the third day of the operation, the unit provided security operations and created disaster safety awareness packets.
The units responding came primarily from Southeast Michigan and the Ohio Metro Toledo divisions of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The members of these units are all volunteers and range from 17 years of age to retirement. Many are veterans of various branches of the military but that is not a prerequisite for membership. You must be of age, a US citizen and pass a background check. The first year new members must take a series of classes including boating safety, health, and ethics as foundations for their training and work responsibilities.
When not respondingto disasters and emergencies, the Auxiliary’s primary function is boating safety. This is accomplished by teaching the public boating safety classes, doing safe boat inspections, and providing patrols during heavy boating activities such as regattas and firework events. There is also an air wing of the unit that is manned by members with their personal planes.
We would like to thank Commodore Chenevert and his members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary for the professionalism and great attitude shown during a time of need.
– This blog entry was written by Disaster Workforce volunteer Dave Morrow