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Disaster Relief Spring Training Equips Volunteers for Service

Disaster Relief Spring Training Equips Volunteers for Service

Disaster Relief Spring Training Equips Volunteers for Service

Over 170 volunteers gathered at Barnwell First Baptist Church on March 9th for the South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief Spring Training event.

The event provided essential training across various disciplines to equip volunteers for efficient and effective disaster response efforts.

In 2023, South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief deployed teams to several locations in South Carolina, including Bamberg and Pendleton, and in the US, including Vermont and Florida. They also took part in many non-disaster and training activities, including participating in a State Guard Field Exercise and partnering with Remote Area Medical for a health clinic.

The Chainsaw Classroom and Lab allows participants to receive hands-on training.

Providing Valuable Training

With a range of classes tailored to different skill sets and interests, the training aimed to prepare volunteers to assist in a variety of disaster scenarios, including hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, ice storms, and floods. The training offered courses in Chainsaw Operation, Emergency First Aid, Chaplaincy, and more.

The Chainsaw Operation class provided attendees with comprehensive training on safely removing damaged trees, limbing, brush removal, and roof tarping. Participants had the opportunity for hands-on experience with chainsaws, emphasizing safety protocols and proper technique.

The event also offered emergency first aid training, equipping volunteers with essential skills to provide immediate medical assistance in disaster situations. Other focuses included communication in coordinating relief efforts, mud-out training, and roof tarping.

Pastor Jamie Cribb leads a class for prospective chaplains on Operational Stress Management.

Equipping Chaplains

Aside from the physical support, DR also provides emotional and spiritual support through chaplains. This training event also had several classes specific to chaplaincy, aiming to give prospective chaplains insight into the responsibilities and challenges of the role.

Jamie Cribb, Pastor of First Baptist Church Harleyville, serves as a chaplain. He took part in several deployments with chainsaw units before becoming a chaplain. As a chaplain, Cribb is able to witness to and share God’s love with people in a time of need. However, the training he received has served an even bigger purpose.

“One of the great things about studying and going to Disaster Relief training is not only being able to use those skill sets on deployment, but in all of the different aspects of life,” Cribb said.

Attendees of the Spring Disaster Relief Training take part in an emergency first aid class.

Opportunities for Everyone

The Disaster Relief Spring Training event emphasized the diverse opportunities for volunteers to contribute, recognizing that not everyone can undertake physically demanding tasks like chainsaw operation or a mud-out. With roles ranging from light raking to equipment maintenance, there’s a place for volunteers of all abilities to make a meaningful difference in disaster response efforts.

There is a place for everyone and every church with 11 different ways to serve. As communities continue to face the threat of natural disasters, the dedication and preparedness of volunteers trained at events like these remain a cornerstone of resilience and recovery efforts. Participating in DR ministries offers an opportunity to embody the teachings of Christ and serve the vulnerable.

Cribb emphasized the need for more volunteers so that teams can be ready to serve in times of need. “We’d love for you to come out and to get involved and see where the Lord will lead you,” Cribb said.


  • Anna Gardner

    Anna Gardner

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