ERTs remove massive downed tree from church members’ home

By Billy Robinson

On Aug. 10 an Early Response Team responded to the home of Carl Strock in Cope near Orangeburg after a recent storm knocked over a huge post oak that was blocking an access road to the home.

A seven-person team comprising three ERT personnel and three others from St. Paul’s United Methodist Church were led by the Rev. Fred Buchanan of St. Paul’s UMC in Orangeburg.

Strock is a member of St. Paul’s UMC.

The team came equipped with big chainsaws to take on the huge oak. The oak was meticulously resting over and partially on a mailbox and hay rake, so the team had to use a lot of ingenuity to get the equipment out without further damaging them.

A very hot and humid day added to the exhausting task.

But within four hours, the task was completed and the driveway to the home opened.

Team members included Buchanan, Carl Strock, Dr. Gene Atkinson, Ken Stovall, Jim Cary, Felix Vazquez and Billy Robinson.

Upcoming ERT training

Are you interested in serving on an ERT mission? Two upcoming classes are scheduled. On Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is an ERT Basic/Renewal class at Faith UMC, 5151 Sunset Blvd., Lexington.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, Saturday, September 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. is an ERT Basic / Renewal class at Cornerstone UMC, 2697 Heckle Blvd., Rock Hill.

Basic classes are $40 per person, which includes a manual, shirt, cap and badge. There is a $20 fee for renewals, which will run from 9-1. To register for either class, go to

Everyone also needs to do a background check (free) through UMCOR at (If asked for a code then put in 9x2r4eh. You may or may not be asked for it.) If you have not had COVID vaccines, please bring a mask and wear it as you see fit. Those ill may cancel for a full refund.

For more information: [email protected] or 803-539-8429.

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