DPSPS looking for volunteers for emergency response team

Volunteers for crew positions do not need to own a boat.

The Deception Pass Sail and Power Squadron has established a Squadron Emergency Assistance Team and is seeking volunteers to fill out the group.

The Squadron Emergency Assistance Team (SERAT) works with the Island County Department of Emergency (DEM) during disasters to move materials, supplies and possibly personnel off and on Whidbey Island if needed.

“SERAT volunteers are highly trained and experienced boaters with knowledge of local waters,” according to a DPSPS press release.

“In addition to moving supplies, they have the capability to provide assistance for water emergencies, the release said.

“All SERAT volunteers have completed the necessary marine skills training courses as well as other requirements associated with the DEM. They are now awaiting receipt of their volunteer credentials from the DEM, which will activate and direct SERAT as needed.”

There are currently six volunteer captains and their boats and 11 volunteer crew members, according to Bill Coltrin, SERAT team leader.

One of the crew, under the guidance of the DEM, is responsible for land operations and will help with evacuations during an emergency.

SERAT is in need of additional boats and volunteers, according to Coltrin.

Volunteers must have a desire to help Whidbey Island citizens during an emergency; be members of the DPSPS; have up-to-date CPR/First Aid/AED certification; must obtain DEM volunteer credentials; and must have the Alert Sense Emergency Communication app.

Captains must have at least a pilot grade from the U.S. Power Squadrons or a captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Marine crew must have at least a boat handling grade from the U.S. Power Squadrons.

It is recommended that land crew and auxiliary members complete America’s Boating and Boat Handling classes.

Land crew does not participate in water activities, only ground transportation and communication.

Crew positions do not require owning a boat.

Recommendations for SERAT boats include being trailerable; being big enough to hold at least two people and approximately 200 pounds of equipment; possessing an up-to-date Vessel Safety Check decal from the U.S. Power Squadron or Coast Guard Auxiliary; and having a working VHF radio with digital selective calling. (Having GPS is highly recommended.)

For more information, contact Coltrin at bjcoltrin@gmail.com

For information on the local SERAT, visit https://www.deceptionpasssailandpowersquadron.com/serat.html

For information about SERAT from America’s Boating Club or U.S. Power Squadrons, visit https://www.usps.org/index.php/serat

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