ALERRT Newsletter - February 2021
ALERRT Newsletter - February 2021
February 2022
A New Year
John Curnutt, Assistant Director

For decades, I’ve ended the classes I have taught with “The world is not conspiring to make our jobs or lives any easier.  Thank you for what you do.  Push yourself to be better.  Push those around you, who will listen, to be better as well.  Lift each other up and get each other through this thing called life.”  (Many of you just started to cite the rest of the opening lyrics of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy!” didn’t you?)
Last year, a record number of officers were shot in the line of duty (346), along with a record number of line-of-duty-deaths from various causes (512). 141 firefighters died on-duty. Dozens of EMTs and Paramedics died in the line of duty.  The only numbers more alarming than line of duty deaths are how many first responders took their own lives. 
As we navigate through 2022, let us renew our commitment to promote mental, physical, and organizational health, to the best of our ability.  Yes, this section is called “The Tactical Corner”, however if our foundation isn’t solid, it is foolish to believe anything can be built upon it that will perform as desired or withstand the cumulative effect our jobs have on us.
The ALERRT Center enters 2022 hitting on more cylinders than ever before.  We have created an eLearning Division, expanded our staff, and we possess more training kits than ever before.  The past two years of challenges have changed the landscape in which we conduct training.  We offer smaller sized courses to accommodate training delivery due to COVID restrictions, staffing shortages, and to more rural areas around the nation.  We are expanding online training and interactions we have with everyone.  We are nearing completion of an online registration/reporting feature that will dramatically reduce the paperwork and increase the responsiveness upon completion of a course.  We are travelling more to meet with strategic partners and engage in dialogue at various conferences and panel discussions around the country.  We are working to increase our social media presence to provide better overall communication and awareness of all ALERRT has to offer.  We have some of the greatest, most passionate instructors out there to facilitate information exchange and a quality training experience.
There are a great number of people in this country who appreciate and support first responders.  May we remember that and continue to perform in a manner worthy of maintaining that appreciation and support.  Our mission is still a righteous one.  Thank you for what you do.
The Staff at ALERRT would like to congratulate Jillian Williams-Coffee for helping Team USA to win a Gold Medal at the 2020 (’21) Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan last year as a member of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team. Jillian is the wife of ALERRT Instructor Kyle Coffee and the daughter in law of ALERRT Instructor Terry Coffee.

Jillian was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma in 2016, which caused her to lose her leg from the knee down. This has not slowed Jillian down at all as she has also started a foundation called Live n Leap that grants needs and dreams to adolescent and young patients (Ages 18-29) with life-threatening illnesses.

Jillian is the embodiment of the ALERRT’s survivor ethos, continue to forge ahead as a true fighter in all respects. Congratulations again Jillian and Go Team USA!

Wednesday, October 5 - Saturday, October 8 | Gaylord National - Oxon Hill, MD
The 2021 ALERRT Conference in Nashville, Tennessee was more than we had expected when returning back in person, with some great certification opportunities: CRASE, Whole Blood and Advanced Medical Skills, Blue NIMS, and Telecommunications. This year you left with a renewed sense of purpose, fresh ideas, and reconnected to others in our first responder community.

Gaylord National, in National Harbor, Maryland October 5th – 8th, 2022
Speaker submissions are open February 1st, Vendor registration opens March 1st, and Attendee registration opens April 5th. We are working on finalizing the certification courses for the 2022 conference, but have already started updating so stay tuned for information about reservations and registration.

Looking Ahead

February 21-23, 2022
C-PASS School Safety Training Conference

Saratoga Springs, NY

Assistant Director John Curnutt will be presenting as a speaker, and Senior Regional Manager Larry Balding will be at an ALERRT booth in the vendor show for networking and information.

ALERRT's e-Learning Update

Over the past year, the eLearning Team has restructured and is currently expanding in personnel to meet the needs of the courses and projects that are being completed. Here is a quick update on the new team members and their responsibilities.

Cayce Williams is responsible for leading the entire eLearning team. He has been with ALERRT as the eLearning Program Manager over a year. Devon Velchoff, who started at the same time, is managing the LMS program, and has been designing and developing courses from the time we started. Sarah Klaproth started in January 2022 and will assist Devon in developing courses for our LMS. Sarah was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. She attended TAMU-CC but came back to central Texas to become a teacher. She taught for five years and is excited to further her career within the ALERRT community.

Our Content Directors will lead eLearning production teams to provide content for our LMS courses. They will assist in the storyboard process, script, and serve as subject matter experts while completing their assignments. The Content Directors will work with our Content Coordinators who will film, record, and edit content based on the project needs.

Brandon Pahls will start as a Content Director in March 2022 after retiring from the US Navy as a Corpsman and instructor. He brings a wealth of knowledge concerning instruction and project management along with his medical expertise. Brandon is excited about returning to Texas from California where he is currently stationed.

Paul Davis just started as our other Content Director. After his service in the US Navy, Paul began teaching for Texas State University. He is also an author and is currently working on completing a novel. Paul will be essential in the storyboard and scripting process, as well project oversight, having content meet instructional goals.

Tom Mersereau joined the ALERRT program in August 2021. He retired from the US Navy as a Corpsman before instructing in the medical field in San Antonio. Tom is our resident filming and editing expert. He enjoys creating content and assisting with our other ALERRT staff with video and editing projects.

The eLearning Team is working on completing our staffing needs with a new Content Coordinator. Once the team is complete, our capacity for delivering eLearning courses and updating ALERRT resources will greatly increase. We have already received funding for a new course which will be completed this year. Please help welcome the new members to the ALERRT family.

Eddie Molina
Southwest Regional Manager
How long have you been with ALERRT? 1 year.
What does your day-to-day look like at ALERRT? I spend a lot of time on the phone. My region covers the East time zone so they are usually a little ahead of us. I answer questions from agencies about hosting ALERRT Training and setting up Training programs, along with coordinating with my partner Meghan to get things set up. I try to stay available full time to field concerns and questions from the Adjuncts out in the field.

What’s your favorite thing about working at ALERRT? Getting to be a part of the TEAM that puts out so much life changing training. I was an adjunct for many years but now have gotten to know the inside stuff.

What was your first job or an unusual/interesting job you’ve had outside of ALERRT? My first job was cutting grass. At 10 years old I would ride out with a man down the street and he had me cutting grass for his clients. Most unusual was working in my aunts restaurant. Barbacoa and Tortillas were the specialty. Those hours started at about 4am and if you didn’t know it, Barbacoa comes from the Cows head. So, I was deboning cow heads on the weekend.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without? My kids.
What sort of pets do you have? I have a yellow lab named Thunder.
If you could time travel, where would you go and why? That's easy; I would go back and spend more time with my Dad.
What’s your biggest pet peeve? When a person uses ‘would of’ instead of ‘would have’. C’mon man!
Alex Ortiz
Logistics Technician
How long have you been with ALERRT? 2 years and 2 months. 
What does your day-to-day look like at ALERRT? My day to day if filled with working kits. I prep kits to get sent out and clean and fix kits that come back in.

What’s your favorite thing about working at ALERRT? My favorite thing about working at ALERRT is my coworkers. It’s great to be working with friends.

What sort of pets do you have? I have one dog named Luna.

Favorite sports team? Texas Longhorns.

What was the first concert you ever attended? My first concert was ZZ Top when I was 12.

If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? Buy a Chick-Fil-A and some land.

Where is your favorite place to be in your free time? The gym or the golf course or anywhere but sitting at home.

The Call

Be sure to check out ALERRT's podcast The Call on YouTube or Spotify.

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Pete Blair, Ph.D.
Executive Director

John Curnutt
Assistant Director

Hunter Martaindale, Ph.D.
Director of Research
Kelly Nichols
Director of Finance
Dwayne Sander
Director of Information Technology

Zane Childress
Director of Logistics

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Major Funding Partners

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)

Department of Justice

The State of Texas

FBI, Department of Justice

National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center

Department of Homeland Security

Local Working Partners

City of San Marcos

Hays County Sheriff’s Office

Texas School Safety Center

Texas Tactical Police 

Officers Association

Gary Job Corps Center, 
San Marcos - Department
of Labor

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