When disaster strikes a community in our nation, our hero first responders spring into action without hesitation or consideration of their own lives, their own homes, or even their own families. When a natural or man-made disaster sweeps an area, it is the everyday first responders that are called to action to bring safety, security and peace to a chaotic situation. In the midst of the pandemonium, few recognize that our first responders are also victims of the same violent acts that strip homes, businesses and lives.
The National Fraternal Order of Police DART (Disaster Area Response Team) was created as a quick response team to serve those who are protecting and serving. When disaster strikes, our team springs into action and prepares to deploy to the affected areas. Before the dust has time to settle, we assemble a team of dedicated members to deliver quick essential services to our brothers and sisters across this nation. We deploy with one or more of food preparation vehicles to the area and make sure that our first responders do not go without proper nourishment, fellowship, and support while they are standing the line.
Fraternal Order of Police is in our name, but we turn away no one as we serve these communities; if you are thirsty or hungry, come find the FOP trailers and we will serve you! A friendly face, a cold or hot drink, and a shoulder to lean on is who we are as an organization and it demonstrates who we are as a team.
As our nation’s law enforcement is a part of each and every community we serve, they too experience the damage associated with catastrophic events. We have assembled three national response remediation trailers in partnership with Lowes. These trailers, stored on the East, West and Southern Coasts, are filled with the proper equipment to help our members dig out of their homes while they are protecting and serving.
Our kitchen assets include a 28’ mobile kitchen that is fully self-enclosed and can produce over a thousand meals a day; two support enclosed trailers for the transport of essential supplies to the affected areas; and our amazing 53’ NASCAR-style hauler has been retrofitted into a massive mobile kitchen to provide the best service to our brothers and sisters across this great nation.
Deployments have been very successful and have brought much-needed service to disaster-torn areas since DART’s conception. The only item that we are never short on is volunteers. As soon as the bell is rung, the flow of amazing members come pouring in and the selfless, tireless work of feeding the masses and clearing members’ homes begins. The Fraternal Order of Police is the greatest organization in the world and there is no greater evidence of that as when a disaster strikes and we serve one another.
National President Patrick Yoes once said, “No man stands as tall as when he kneels to help a brother or sister.” Those words ring true in our ears as we work 18- to 20-hour days serving our members and their communities. Even when fatigue starts to settle in, the joy and pleasure on the faces of those we are serving erases the tiredness and we keep on going. Our goal when we deploy to a disaster is to work as hard as the men and women we are there to support. This team, once a dream, is now a reality and we are locked and loaded so that when disaster does strike, our members know without a doubt that help is on the way.