Emergency Managers from across the state have recognized a local couple for their outstanding efforts at supporting first responders.

Roy and Linda Seifreid have been recognized by the Michigan Emergency Management Association as their 2018 Volunteers of the Year. The Seifrieds lead a team of 18 volunteers known as the Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART. DART provides canteen and comfort services to first responders, often at the site of emergencies. Roy says he and his wife began as volunteers on the Red Cross Disaster Team, but when they changed their policies they saw an opportunity in Livingston County. They met with Howell Area Fire Chief Andy Pless with a plan to take care of the first responders. Pless thought the idea was great, convened with the other county Fire Chiefs about the idea. Roy said, “They sat down and said ‘Whatever you guys want, we’ll make sure you have it.’ And by golly, they have.”

The Seifried’s said its rewarding to see the looks on the first responders faces when they’re able to provide them with even the simplest things. This might include having cold drinks and ice towels on hot days; or warm quilts, coffee, and glove warmers on the cold ones. Linda has sewn several of the quilts, herself, which are also used to help warm families that have lost their homes to a fire until the Red Cross can arrive.

The couple has even inspired similar teams to begin operations in Washtenaw and Jackson counties. Roy said, locally, they’ve recently acquired a second truck and are getting ready to start a second Livingston County team in the Hamburg-area. The couple was presented the award during the county’s 911 Administrative Oversight Board meeting, Wednesday morning, to applause from several police, fire, and EMT staff.

For more information on DART, contact Roy at (517) 518-2636, or send an email to rstuff8@comcast.net.

Pictured left to right: Livingston County Emergency Manager Therese Cremonte, Linda Seifried and Roy Seifried. (MK)