Holt Boy Scouts earning emergency preparedness badges

CERT fire engine boy scouts

Troop 532 Boy Scouts Michael Barlow, Dillon Fredericks and Aaryn Cooper peer inside a Holt fire engine on display Monday in the First Baptist Church of Holt parking lot. The scouts, the Holt Volunteer Fire Department and the Crestview Community Emergency Response Team will collaborate for emergencies.

MATTHEW BROWN / News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 11:42 AM.

CRESTVIEW — Crestview Community Emergency Response Team and Holt Volunteer Fire Department members are helping Holt Boy Scouts work toward earning the Emergency Preparedness merit badge.

In turn, Troop 532 members will help Holt during natural or manmade disasters.

Mark Brown, the Crestview CERT’s team chief, on Monday advised six scouts about creating a troop mobilization plan. With the scouts’ assistance, volunteer firefighters could concentrate on providing relief in the community, helping the elderly and clearing roadways during emergencies, Holt Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scott Chestnut said.

"They can help us out in a lot of different ways, handing out water, handing out tarps, ice," he said. "That frees up our guys to do what they are trained to do."  

First, the scouts need to identify a meeting place, such as the troop’s regular meeting location or at the church. Additionally, they need an alternative location, should the first one be unavailable. Other priorities include establishing an alternative communication method, should telephone lines and cell phone towers be unavailable.

Once the troop writes the plan, it must be presented to Brown and Chestnut.

"This is the first time we have endeavored to do the Emergency Preparedness merit badge," Scoutmaster  Max Cooper said. "I have been affiliated with other scout troops in other cities; we have really never had a mobilization plan."

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