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Annual S.M.M.A.R.T. Holds Memorial in Alpena Before Graduation

A week long training event took place in Alpena last week to train all Emergency First Responders in the state of Michigan to render to any First Responder who has given their life in the line of duty.

Before graduating, the  Michigan Memorial Affairs Team also referred to as SMART had one last assignment to complete and that was to practice their mock funeral of a real Emergency Responder who tragically passed away in 2003.

“We actually are honoring the life today and the passing of Deputy Kevin Sherwood from Clare County Michigan. He was a Deputy Sheriff, who was killed in the line of duty in 2003. In order to add a little realism to it for the class his family was kind enough to come and grace us with their presence here. What that does is adds a little pressure to these guys how real this is,” Foley said.

Before passing and graduating each officer had to pass each test given. Foley said when it comes to this type of situation it’s sad but you need more hands to help out to honor the fallen men and women.

“Unfortunately there’s just no shortage of officers being killed in the line of duty of First Responders as with the military memorial, or any military conflict there are only an infinite numbers of soldiers killed in that line in that conflict. Unfortunately for officers and firefighters it’s ongoing constantly. Everyday they go to work, everyday there’s a possibility that they may not go home. So when that happens somebody has to be trained properly in order to handle these events. Just as the Army, or the Navy, or the Marines do at Arlington Cemetery, these officers are trained the same way on how to handle it here,” Foley explained.

The training’s have been held in Alpena for a number of years, the memorial training took place at Little Flanders Field.