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Volunteer sets bar high

The next time we need to get motivated to help a good cause or when we start to believe that we’ve done enough and decide to let someone else take over, we’re going to think about Brian Glenn.

We all can remember times when we really wanted to do more to help but needed a little extra encouragement, another look at a good example to help us get off high center and finish the job.

Well, Glenn — a battalion chief with the Denton Fire Department — is one of the best examples we’ve found of going the extra mile.

In addition to his duties with the fire department, Glenn was recently selected as a member of the ShelterBox Response Team.

Qualifying for the team wasn’t easy. It was an achievement nearly two years in the making that included days of rigorous training and many hours of study.

The team is composed of highly skilled volunteers who deliver aid to survivors of conflict and natural disasters around the world with the international disaster relief organization ShelterBox.

Since 2000, the Cornwall, England-based organization has been providing shelter and warmth following more than 200 disasters in 85 countries. It now has locations in 25 countries in order to quickly disperse supplies for relief efforts as needed.

Glenn told us he first learned about ShelterBox through his membership in the Denton South Rotary Club, when someone suggested that the club sponsor boxes from the organization. A ShelterBox is just that: a box containing a tent, stove, blankets and a water filtration system, among other tools, to help with shelter and survival.

Glenn began volunteering as a ShelterBox ambassador around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He traveled all over North Texas to display boxes and help raise awareness and funding to help the cause. Then, two years ago in New Orleans at a Rotary Club function, he met the founders of ShelterBox, filled out an application and got some discouraging news — they were not accepting any applications.

But Glenn was determined and did not give up. He finally broke through and began a series of interviews with the company that eventually led to assessment training in Mason, Texas, and additional days of preparation in England.

Despite his nearly 30-year background in emergency response, he said the training in England — designed to teach participants to always be ready — provided a tough test.

His fellow firefighters are understandably proud of Glenn, who has been working on getting all the necessary immunizations to travel worldwide in case he is needed. He’ll use vacation time to cover the time away — the deployment is no longer than two weeks before they send another team out, Glenn told us.

Glenn said he is ready for the challenge — nearly as ready as training his crew.

“Overseeing the emergency medical services here — that’s what I do on a daily basis — I work with my team to make sure they are constantly building a skill set,” Glenn said. “The training I learned from overseas will definitely be applied.”

We congratulate Battalion Chief Glenn on his selection as a member of the ShelterBox Response Team, and we commend him for his commitment and determination to help make a difference.

He’s setting the bar high for the rest of us.