Peace, Ann Arbor Partners with Washtenaw Community Mutual Aid Association Fire Chiefs2 min read

This past November 2014, Peace Lutheran Church in Ann Arbor teamed up with Washtenaw Community Mutual Aid Association Fire Chiefs (WCMAA) to create HART. HART stands for Helping Area Response Teams.

HART is an on-site rescue vehicle for Washtenaw County’s emergency responders. This ambulance for ambulance drivers includes snacks, water, coffee, extra clothes, blankets, and a sanctuary from extreme temperatures: the fires they fight, and in the winter, the extreme cold.

The vehicle is a 2009 Ford E-450 donated by Huron Valley Ambulance. This vehicle provides rest, nourishment, extra clothing, and a place to escape the bustle of the inherent dangers of fire-fighting for emergency responders. The team has recently responded to a Milan fire on March 23, 2015, a fire in Scio Township on March 26-27, and a training event for Salem Township and HART volunteers on March 28, 2015.

HART’s theme verse is from Matthew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” The need for compassion is timeless. Peace Lutheran Church and WCMAA have shown outstanding compassion for those who put their lives at risk every day to save other people’s lives. Larry Courson, pastor at Peace Lutheran, Ann Arbor said, “when we serve others, we do it for Him.” That is what this Bible verse means; it’s about providing help and support for those who need it, not for yourself, but for Him. HART is a small – but in no way minor – example of great compassion in our community.

HART is a volunteer-driven organization. Volunteers typically travel with the response team to support the first responders. Other duties include behind-the-scenes tasks such as restocking the truck. The volunteer team is upwards of 36 core volunteers spread all over Washtenaw County. If you feel led to support HART, or if you simply wish to learn more about it, check out their website or Facebook page.

If you wish to get involved, see HART’s get involved page. If you would like to make a donation to HART, visit this link.

Pictured above: Lt. Michael Grissom (member of Our Savior, Chelsea, Dexter firefighter, and a member of the initial HART board) and Rev. Larry Courson from Peace, Ann Arbor.

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