The Advanced Local Emergency Response Team (ALERT) is a unique multi-agency terrorism response team designed to treat patients in a mass casualty setting. Formed in 1995 after an incident at the Mecklenburg County Civil Courts building involving explosives and a possible biological hazard, the ALERT team became focused on rapid deployment response to mass-casualty incidents involving chemical, biological or nuclear
weapons. The team may also be activated in response to natural or man-made disasters including hurricanes and aircraft crashes. Participants include over 100 representatives from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, firefighters, paramedics, environmental health personnel, nurses, physicians, and chaplains. ALERT represents a unique cooperative effort among public safety organizations, and has served as a model to cities around the country who wished to form their own organizations to handle the aftermath of a terrorist incident.
The Sheriff's Office provides a total of Twenty-five personnel for ALERT, supervised by Captain Kristjan A. Rahe. Each participating agency has a primary mission based on its field of expertise, and a secondary mission designed to help support the team's operation. All members have training in Disaster Mortuary Operations and have attended training in Weapons of Mass Destruction Evidence Collection at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama. Sheriff's personnel are primarily responsible for scene security and crime scene evidence collection. Additionally, the members assist with the decontamination and medical evacuation of victims once the assigned primary mission has been achieved. Team members train a minimum of eight hours monthly in both their field of specialty and in HAZ-MAT operations. Questions regarding ALERT may be addressed to the agency's ALERT Coordinator, Captain Kristjan A Rahe. Please use the contact us form located at the top of this page.