For Immediate Release:

Lutheran Early Response Team (LERT) Chainsaw Team Response to Hurricane Laura

Rev. Ed Brashier, Southern District Disaster Response Coordinator and Director of Shepherd's Heart Ministry
Southern District Disaster Response Coordinator, Pastor Ed Brashier, has just returned from storm response in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and should be onsite in Lake Charles, LA, by Saturday, September 5. Please text or call him at 205-296-3714 if you are interested in volunteering in Lake Charles.

A volunteer center is being established at our LCMS congregation, St. John Lutheran Church, in Lake Charles. Currently very few residents have returned and therefore work requests have not been received. This will change in the next few days.

St. John will NOT be ready for volunteers before September 11, 2020. Anyone wishing to deploy sooner should consider going just across the state line to Beaumont, Texas. The contact person for work in Beaumont is Julie Tucker (210-324-8845).
  • At first the volunteer center at St. John will only accept self-sufficient teams. They must be able and willing to identify homeowners who need assistance, obtain signed waivers, arrange their own housing, meals, and showers, and track their volunteer hours.
  • At present there is no power or water available at St. John.
  • Once the volunteer center is up and running and housing has been established, capacity will be determined.
Because of the great need for chainsaw teams, CHAINSAW OPERATORS will not have to be LERT trained but WILL have to follow all LERT safety policies and work under the direction of a LERT-trained chainsaw operator.
  • Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is worn by all volunteers.
  • Pullers & Draggers shall wear hard hat, safety glasses, ear protection, work gloves & boots.
  • Chainsaw Operators shall wear hard hat, safety glasses, ear protection, work gloves AND steel-toed boots AND kevlar chaps.
  • No one is allowed within 6 feet of the Operator while they are cutting.
  • You MUST be at least 18 years of age to operate a chainsaw on a LERT work site.
  • ALWAYS, every time, without fail, engage the chain brake BEFORE starting the chainsaw.
  • Engage the chain brake if taking more than 2 steps, or when moving in cluttered areas.
  • NEVER drop start or throw start a chainsaw.
  • NEVER operate a chainsaw without a working chain brake.
  • ALWAYS operate the chainsaw with your thumb fully engaged around the handle.
  • NEVER let your chain touch the dirt, as this dulls your blade.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation
to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
(Romans 1:16)