Winston Baptist to aid in disaster relief

Mark Wakefield, far left, with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, hands the keys to the new chain saw trailer for the Winston Baptist Association to Bob Cooper, interim director. Also shown is Cathy Cooper and Alan Gray. The trailer will be ready soon to be deployed anywhere disaster strikes in the southeast.

DOUBLE SPRINGS - When disaster strikes, first responders are the first most think about. However, there is another organization which is on call to help, too.

The Winston Baptist Association is the recent recipient of a trailer from Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief, containing chain saws and other similar tools to deploy to areas needing clean up personnel and help. The trailer was delivered Saturday, May 15, by Dr. Mark Wakefield, global missions director of disaster relief with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions to the ministry resource center. Bob Cooper, interim director at the WBA, his wife Cathy and Foreman Alan Gray accepted it on behalf of the WBA.
The 12-foot trailer is available to go anywhere in the southeast region, just like the laundry trailer the association has  also, which has been helping in disaster relief since 2008. A quarter of the money for the trailer was donated to a state disaster relief fund. The Winston Baptist payment portion came from Arley First Baptist Church’s missions fundraiser last year, led by Cathy and Cheryl Rickett from Arley.
The trailer itself will be ready for deployment to disaster areas as soon as shelves are constructed on the inside and it is equipped with toolboxes and racks.
“We had eight people training for chain saw safety operation last year,” Bob Cooper said. “Because of that training, we now have certified operators. We may get called and deployed anywhere in the southeast. That class proved to be the last training the state sponsored in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.”
Besides chain saws, the trailer will contain ladders, safety equipment, rakes, shovels, gloves, sharpening tools, coolers, wheelbarrows, among other things including items related to flood recovery. It equip a team of four chain saw operators and additional support personnel for clean out and tarping operations.
“Should we have a disaster here in Winston County, I have a coordinated plan with the Emergency Management Agency director,” Bob added.
“I may be the person who does the coordinating (for the state), but it is the volunteers who get the work done,” Wakefield said. “These folks are the best.”


See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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