Watch now: Lutheran Disaster Response Team holds chainsaw training in Charleston | Local


Members of the Lutheran Early Response Team attended a pre-disaster response chain saw training in Charleston on Saturday afternoon. Read more here.
Charleston-Central Illinois Lutheran Early Response Team has nearly 1,000 volunteers, ready to help recover after disasters such as floods and tornadoes.
However, piles of fallen trees and branches on the road may create obstacles for LERT volunteers and others trying to reach the disaster site so that they can help.
“If there are debris everywhere, our staff will not be able to work,” said Stephen Born, LERT coordinator in central Illinois.
Lutheran Early Response Team coordinator Stephen Born leads an advanced chainsaw training in Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
Therefore, Born stated that a cleanup staff composed of volunteers trained in safe operation of chain saws is critical to the team’s disaster response work. He said that as the team resumed its normal training program after the COVID-19 pandemic, LERT held an advanced disaster response chain saw training course for its volunteers in Charleston on Saturday.
Every member of LERT in central Illinois is certified before entering the field, and their certificates are recognized by the State of Illinois and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The 15 participants of the chainsaw course started with class training at Immanuel Lutheran Church on Saturday morning, and then went to the country house of team members Gary and Karen Hanebrink to practice cutting limbs in the afternoon.
Members of the Lutheran Early Response Team attended advanced chainsaw training in Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
“We have some damaged trees, and we want to make the most of them,” Gary Hanebrink said. The Charleston rural resident said that he has been using chainsaws all his life, but he was happy to learn about the latest equipment and protective equipment used by the team. “For safety, we are all trying to reach a consensus.”
Team members wear hard hats, face shields and/or protective glasses, bright yellow vests and gloves during training, and in some cases wear holsters. They take turns learning how to cut standing and fallen limbs at the correct angle, and drag the cut onto the brush pile.
Janet Hill from St. John’s Lutheran Church in East Moline attended the advanced chainsaw training of the Lutheran Early Response Team in Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
Saturday’s training course attracted participants from a wide range of LERT services, such as Ken and Janet Hill from St. John’s Lutheran Church in East Moline.
Janet Hill said that she had practiced with a chainsaw on her small farm beforehand, but she was a little nervous when she first started training. She said that she finally had fun and felt power while using the saw, and she looked forward to getting certification so that she could deploy with the team.
Don Lutz from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Green Valley said that he has deployed with the team in the past, including tornado scenes in rural villages near Four Cities, where chainsaw staff are particularly needed.
In addition to Hanebrinks, local participants in the training included Paul and Julie Stranz from Immanuel Lutheran in Charleston.
Paul Strands from the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Charleston attended the advanced chainsaw training of the Lutheran Early Response Team in Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
Paul Strands said that getting certified to use a chain saw with his team will be another way he will serve the community after he retires. Strands said that he and his wife are already one of the breeders of the LERT comfort dog, Rachel the Golden Retriever hosted by their church.
Byrne said he was very happy to see team members from the Charleston area participating in the training. He said that if there is a disaster there, they are ready to serve the community and can help teammates throughout central Illinois.
More information is available on the “Central Illinois Lutheran Church Early Response Team-LCMS” page on Facebook.
1970: Dr. Ira Langston, Dean of Eureka College, will speak at the dedication ceremony of the First Christian Church in Charleston. Jack V. Reeve, Secretary of State of the Christian Disciples of Illinois, will offer his dedication and prayer. The sanctuary can accommodate 500 people.
1961: The work of the new Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Charleston continues and a dedication ceremony is arranged. Pastor Hubert Baker said the final cost may be lower than the original estimate of $130,000.
1958: A small chapel commemorating the relatives of Letticia Parker Williams is about to be completed at the Mound Cemetery. This small church worth $25,000 was built on the legacy of Mrs. Williams, a former Charleston resident. Mrs. Williams was a relative of Charles Morton, the founder of Charleston. She died in Maine in 1951. Her will stipulates that the funds for the church will be given to the cemetery association responsible for overseeing the construction. The chapel can accommodate about 60 people.
1959: The recently completed Charleston Mound Cemetery will be used to commemorate Memorial Day. Pastor Frank Nestler, chairman of the Charleston Ministerial Association, will be responsible for the service held with the Veterans Service. This $25,000 New England-style building was funded by Leticia Parker in his will to commemorate her mother, Nellie Ferguson Parker.
1941: The Old Salem Church east of Charleston is being converted into a modern residence for Kenneth Garnot, owner of a welding shop in Charleston. This church, built in 1871, was photographed shortly after workers began to demolish part of the landmark in Coles County.
Rob Stroud is a reporter for JG-TC, covering the city of Marton, Lakeland College, Cumberland County, and areas such as Oakland, Casey, and Martinsville.
Lake Land College added a workforce training program, and the Mattoon School District plans to open a regional high school training center.
In this week’s version of Clint Walker’s THROWBACK MACHINE, do you have an old-fashioned iron that you can throw away?
The Lake Land board of directors is scheduled to meet at 6 pm on Monday at the Kluthe Center at Effingham College, where the board of directors meets once a year.
The Marton School Board of Directors is scheduled to meet at the unit office at 1701 Charleston Avenue at 7pm on Tuesday evening.
Paul Strands from the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Charleston attended the advanced chainsaw training of the Lutheran Early Response Team in Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
Janet Hill from St. John’s Lutheran Church in East Moline attended the advanced chainsaw training of the Lutheran Early Response Team in Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
Lutheran Early Response Team coordinator Stephen Born leads an advanced chainsaw training in Charleston on Saturday afternoon.
Members of the Lutheran Early Response Team attended advanced chainsaw training in Charleston on Saturday afternoon.