BURLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Disasters happen. It's unfortunate, but every once in a while a hurricane will sweep down a coast, a earthquake will wipe out a town or a tornado will rip through a community.
When those things happen, there are first responders to take care of the living and injured. There are also a group of people there to take care of those who have passed away.
Dave Allred is trained to be one of the people taking care of the people who didn't make it through the tragedy.
"We will go out and our job specifically is to go out and recover and help identify those people that have been killed or died in this accident," Allred said.
Allred is the superintendent of the two Burley City Cemeteries. He is also a member of the National Disaster Medical System group. His region covers Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and some international communities.
This region won't get as many disasters as say the east coast or south. In fact in his six or seven years as a member of the group he hasn't gone out to a call.
"It's a good thing. It's a very good thing," Allred said.
It's good for the obvious reason. The Pacific Northwest hasn't seen a mass-casualty situation in the last few years. But Allred and the other NDMS members in the region stay sharp in the unfortunate task.
Last month, Allred went to a training at the nation's premier, all-hazards training facility in Anniston, Alabama.
"That training in Anniston was so realistic that it opens our eyes for those of us that haven't been deployed — and lucky enough not to be deployed before — that it gives us a very good idea of what will transpire and take place," Allred said.
There are 17 NDMS members in Idaho and hundreds nation wide.
“NDMS supports communities with medical or veterinary care or mortuary operations after disasters,” said Ron Miller, acting director of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response's NDMS. “The intense, realistic training teams receive at this facility serves our nation and local communities well when NDMS is called upon to assist after a disaster strikes.”
Whenever Allred comes back from one of the trainings he tries to bring back information to help his community. In some cases, that's simply encouraging people to have an emergency bag with extra clothes, food, water and a first aid kit.
"We as members of the community, if a disaster happens in our community, if we are prepared, things will go smoother, things will go better, things might recover quicker," Allred said.
Allred encouraged people to go to ready.gov to pick up tips.
The whole experience gives the long-time funeral director a different insight into large-scale tragedy.
"It just makes your heart wrench to know that people, what they're gong through," Allred said.