Friday morning a partnership was announced between the Brown County Emergency Management Office, Good Samaritan Ministries and Northlake Community Church to assist the chaplaincy program in times of emergency or disaster.
Lifeguard EMS donated an ambulance, which is now a chaplaincy supply vehicle that will provide items to those in need during troubling situations.
“As volunteer chaplains we’ve been meeting the last few months to develop a plan so that we can be ready when something happens,” said Ron Keener, Pastor of Northlake Community Church. “It came to our attention that we needed to supply this vehicle. We will keep this stocked in the event there’s emergency or disaster of some kind.”
Keener credited Brown County Judge Paul Lilly for putting the wheels in motion to allow Friday’s revelation to occur.
“It’s a team effort,” Lilly said. “Even before I took office I promised to revitalize and improve the office of emergency management. As far as I know we are the first to create a volunteer chaplains’ program. We began looking for a vehicle shortly after I took office. Dave Fair, one of our volunteer chaplains, was able to reach out and make contact with the parent company of Lifeguard, AMR, and they found us an ambulance and donated it absolutely free of charge to Brown County. It’s a fantastic program and everything you see here is donated.”
Leesa Stephens, GSM Executive Director, said, “We are very excited to be able to work with this chaplains’ group. When they go out to an emergency situation the level of need is always great whether it’s immediate needs or long-term needs. And sometimes the main thing needed right then is to give a child a teddy bear to get them through that situation. As often is the case at Good Samaritan, resources come our way and we’re looking at items and don’t know what to do with them, but then very shortly after God shows us. We believe this partnership is one where we’ll step up and prove clothing vouchers, housewares, etc.”
Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace and volunteer chaplain Harold Hogan said, “My profession before I’m a judge is being a pastor in the community. I see a need all over the community and I think it’s a great collaboration and a great opportunity for more people to involved. This is a ministry, and this is a need.”
Johnston added, “I want to thank everybody. It’s been a big group effort, a team effort. This is all funded by donations by the churches and community, so it doesn’t cost the county a thing.”
At the conclusion of the event, Keener, on behalf of Northlake Community Center, donated to gift cards in an effort to aid with immediate relief in the new partnership.