Beyond CERT: Brent Wells

Brent Wells, Safety Boat Operator

We all have unique reasons for joining the CERT program but we all share a common denominator – a call to service – that pushes us to help out more than one area of our community. Each year, Allen CERT member Brent Wells volunteers his time and expertise to a group of competitive wind surfers, operating a safety boat with his friend to provide a lifeline for racers that may find themselves in potential trouble.

“Wind surfers are in great shape due to spending every weekend they can holding their sails against the wind.  On a good day, they will out run our safety boat which will go around 45 knots top speed,” says Brent. Even still, he “saw many of the racers swim for much of the distance as the winds were non-existent.” This increases the chance of needing a safety boat as surfers/swimmers can tire much sooner. Brent and his friend, Kevin Petersen, “pulled in a couple of racers who were just too tired to continue during the day Sunday.”

As with may events of this nature, a networked radio communications plan is established. Brent has years of experience with radio operations and recently acquired his FCC amateur radio license. This valuable skill set comes in handy as “we use marine radios to communicate with the base during the races.”

How does CERT apply?

Brent explains how CERT ties into his other facets of community service:

“It is more like helping out groups like NTWR led me to look for more ways to volunteer in my community, which led me to CERT.  Upon retirement, some people seem to find they feel like they no longer contribute or are needed.  I have never felt like that and one reason is probably the awesome feeling I get from helping out neighbors and good people like NTWR, or making new friends like the ones in CERT.  I feel blessed that I was given the opportunity and wherewithal to give back. Once I participated in CERT training (and later in CFA), I felt like I discovered a new group of like minded people that share my passion for helping out and volunteering to assist our important first responders when needed.  It helps me appreciate the larger good in our community to find people like the CERT team that make time from their busy schedules in order to be available and trained to help in tough situations without expecting a paycheck from it. I am certainly more confident now should I ever need to rescue a drowning windsurfer thanks to CERT and CFA.  The prior USCG training I received was too long ago and mostly outdated by now from a life saving standpoint.   While I would still be very nervous should that happen, I am confident I will not freeze nor do more harm than good.  And that helps keep me relaxed when I am out helping to keep these folks safe while they enjoy the lake.”

This year’s race took place on May 6-7 at the Dallas Corinthian Yacht Club (DCYC) in Little Elm. Brent is planning to support another race on the weekend of November 4th dubbed the “Pumpkin Cup”.

Do you have a Beyond CERT story of your own? Share it!