Family event supports Emergency Response Team
Are you looking for a good time Halloween Event? A Family Friendly gathering with kids activities, a bit of a shopping opportunity and maybe a costume contest?
The Spooktacular Festival a fundraiser for the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department Emergency Response Team of features a wide and varied collection of vendors, a bounce house, face painting and, of course, the activities and costume contest we mentioned and more.
It takes place at Fremont Middle School from 10am-2pm Saturday October 28th and promises some good deals and good times with vendors donating a percentage of their proceeds to the ERT for the purchase of tactical vests.
We asked Newaygo County Undersheriff Chad Palmiter to educate us a bit on the team and their efforts.
N3-What is the Emergency Response Team and what do they do?
CP-The primary mission of the Emergency Response Team is to assist police agencies with critical incidents as to save lives. The team responds upon the request of the incident commander and approval of the Sheriff to armed barricaded subjects, hostage situations, fugitive recovery and active shooter incidents. The team may also conduct high risk search and arrest warrant service upon requests from surrounding police agencies.
The unit is comprised of thirteen specialty trained and equipped multi-jurisdictional team members and includes tactical sharpshooters, hostage negotiators, tactical medics and entry personnel.
The unit trains monthly and constantly prepares to meet all essential mission tasks and functions that they may be called upon to complete for the citizens of Newaygo County.
The unit's tactical emergency medics (TEMS) operate under a mutual aid agreement with life ambulance services and provide specialty trained and equipped medics for all critical incidents and emergencies.
N3-Why are they needing to raise money? Aren't they already funded?
CP-We're looking at raising money to replace our currently expired tactical vests. The county does not currently have a line item fund for ERT. Most of the equipment used by the team has either been donated, or acquired through grants. Ballistic vests carry a manufacturer's 5 year warranty, our current vest were purchased in 2009 using funding and donations from the public. Tactical vests are different from the day-to-day vest that our officers wear. Tactical vests are by far the most expensive and most valuable part of the team.
N3-How did we get the armored vehicle? What is it used for?
CP-Our current armored vehicle were received through the DOJ 1033 program. These vehicles will always belong to the department of justice and will need to be returned at end of life. Armored vehicle are used for deploying officers on calls and provide a safe place to use as cover. This was a perfect case in point for the house that blew up in Fremont a couple years back. If these vehicles were not deployed for this particular call, officers would have been standing behind a small shield which would have led to several injuries and/or loss of life.
Come out to FMS Saturday, and check out the goods on hand while the kids take part in the activities and give their costumes a bit of a trial run as well. In doing so you support the safety of the men and women who put it on the line every day for our community.
If you cannot make the event but would still like to support this effort you can contact Undersheriff Palmiter at the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, 231.689.7358.
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