Keokuk County Disaster Assistance Team

Volunteers are a hard thing to come by, but in our small county you can always count on two when disaster strikes.
Wayne and Sandy Smithart have been helping local fire departments and emergency personnel on their own since 2008. When needed, they arrive on scene and provide refreshments for emergency personnel. “We want to make sure that everyone is hydrated and has food while working these fires. If someone is called out to a fire in the afternoon that lasts past dinner time, we want to know that they are keeping themselves hydrated and have something to eat to help sustain energy needed to fight fires because chances are they haven’t had anything since at least noon”, says Wayne.
 
This organization is funded by the Smithart family and generous donors. In 2011, Wayne had saved
enough money on his own that they expanded and bought a trailer. “I told him get it or forget it”, Sandy chuckled as she talked about a cold fire night that caused the final decision to add the trailer. The current set up also includes two canopies and a generator that have been donated by local departments, but also includes fans, tables and more that the Smithart’s have bought on their own to set up at any scene. In the event of a small fire, small snacks like cookies and gatorade are offered. In larger fires, there have been times where they have ordered in food or local businesses have been gracious enough to donate to help with their efforts.
 
Keokuk County Disaster Assistance Team (DAT) provides assistance to all nine departments in Keokuk county. The most recent event was the scene of Keota Schools were they provided cookies, coffee, hot chocolate,gatorade and water to local firefighters.