Retirees helping cops, firefighters with emergencies in Jackson Co.

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Fighting fires and investigating crimes in the heat and cold can be challenging for those whose job it is to keep us safe.

But help is on the way in Jackson County, from people who know what it’s like to serve the community.

The group is called J-DART, which stands for Jackson County Disaster Assistance Response Team.

They just got a shiny new vehicle, packed with food, water and other comforts; ready to roll at a moment’s notice.

“Police, fire, or EMS, it’s a way to thank them for their services,” said retired volunteer firefighter Bill Warner.

Warner put J-DART together after realizing there weren’t any groups in Jackson County to help authorities on the job.

“An accident on 94 or some kind of disaster, central dispatch will contact us. Something they’re going to be at a scene for a long period of time, that they’re going to be dehydrated or cold,” Warner said.

This group is made possible through grants and donations from the community.

“We are a non-profit, all volunteer organization,” Warner said.

It’s made up of 15 former police officers and firefighters.

“It’s long overdue. You look back at times and wish you would have had this, especially in the winter months like we’re in right now,” said retired police officer Bill Kennedy.

Kennedy, a retired Jackson police officer says this is a way he can stay active with law enforcement.

“It helps you put what you’ve learned over the years into good use,” Kennedy said.

Their final training is taking place this weekend.

After that, they’ll be ready to start responding when needed.

They launch from the Spring Arbor Township Fire Department, and plan to work with local churches and the American Red Cross.

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