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Disaster Emergency Response Team (DERT)

Established 2011

On May 22, 2011 14 Deputies responded to Joplin to assist after an EF-5 tornado. What we did in Joplin was great, but we could do better.

In October 2011, DERT was formed and began training. The team objectives are to minimize the loss of life and property during natural and man-made disasters and emergency situations through Search and Rescue, First aid and aggressive proactive law enforcement.


The team is able to mobilize its members, consisting of Deputies and civilian employees in less than one hour. They can deploy in some of the harshest environments and remain self-sufficient for extended periods of time, without outside assistance. During deployment, the team will save lives, protect resources and restore law and order in a time of civil unrest due to disaster conditions.

Disaster Emergency Response Team
Disaster Emergency Response Team


The team has Three EMT’s and one Paramedic on staff. Team members are required to attend monthly training in a variety of areas. Each member brings a special skill set to the team.

Members are trained in the following:

  • Incident Command
  • Search and Rescue
  • Recovery
  • Advanced First Aid
  • Disaster Scene security
  • Water Rescue
  • Zodiac rescue techniques
  • Heavy machinery operation
  • Road clearing
  • Advanced vehicle operations
  • Convoy and Transport Security
  • Community Emergency Response Training
  • Hazardous Materials Identification and Response


The Team has gathered equipment from grants and Military surplus to keep the expense to the Sheriff’s Office and tax payers minimal. For example, The Rescue Boat that the team uses is a 2015 Sea Ark Model 2072, equipped with a Suzuki 115 Jet Drive Outboard. The boat was purchased with Law Enforcement Restitution Funds. The Team also has two HMMWVs, a Skid Steer, backpacks and many medical and first aid supplies that were obtained at no cost through military surplus.

Disaster Emergency Response Team
Disaster Emergency Response Team

Hazardous Weather Outlook

To view Google’s Public Alerts page, click HERE