Every once in a while, we showcase a Federal Way volunteer that is an example for the rest of us.
I first met Dan Goede at one of the city’s emergency preparedness classes at Federal Way City Hall. Dan is one of many volunteers in our community who is involved in a variety of critical responsibilities, including emergency preparedness and working with the Federal Way Police Department. I had the privilege of working with Dan and getting to know him through the Armed Defense Training Association, where we are both members.
Dan served four years in the Air Force, including a year in Vietnam, where he maintained aircraft. Dan is an informal leader among those of us that have gone through CERT training. Dan and I met for coffee recently, and I asked him whether his military background has anything to with his commitment to emergency preparedness.
Dan told me he kept his AR15 close while repairing aircraft in various remote locations in Vietnam.
The habit of being ready for things that most of us don’t often think about developed from Dan’s experiences in Vietnam. He said the habits developed while working under a chain of command still motivate him to get additional training and work with others who value being prepared, even when it means sacrificing his own time.
Dan completed training with the Federal Way Citizen’s Academy and participates in CERT Advanced Team, a more specialized level of preparedness that comes after classes to become certified with Federal Way’s Community Emergency Response Team. Dan is licensed as a Ham radio technician. Ham radio operation is critical to maintaining communications during any emergency that knocks out electrical and telephone grids.
I have met many of the Federal Way police and CERT volunteers. Many of them have their Concealed Pistol Licenses and have told me that natural emergencies like earthquakes can present threats of violence. Some people who are unprepared for an emergency will often try to take what they need from those who have set aside some extra food and water. There are also opportunists that will use an emergency as an excuse to create chaos.
Dan and 50-75 volunteers know that it makes a difference in how you feel about your city to work with law enforcement officers in making the community safe.
As we have discussed, Federal Way may be different when we create the proposed “Center for the Shooting Arts.”
We also discussed the ways in which the proposed gun range has the potential to be a “third place” — i.e., one of those places where we can all get to know each other better and interact in order to make Federal Way vibrate with productive friendships and opportunities for growth.
There will be various training groups from in and out of law enforcement working together in collaboration with each other to host events and make the shooting facility a success. Volunteers like Dan Goede are the key to making things work during the tough times when the shortage of funds creates a series of budget emergencies — inside and outside of government. The steps volunteers like Dan take today may also determine how you and I survive in the future.
The next CERT training begins Feb. 9. There is also training for the Neighborhood Emergency Team program scheduled for March 29. For information about these and other emergency training programs, go to www.cityoffederalway.com/prepare or email FWEM@cityoffederalway.com.