Pogue Construction was founded in Sherman in 1979 and relocated its headquarters to McKinney in 1996. Since that time it has become a major contractor in the Dallas area, and Pogue is well-known and respected in McKinney for building many of its schools and municipal facilities. Another thing Pogue does here – something beyond its construction work – is contribute a great deal of resources, volunteer service and expertise to the community overall and to those in need.

When disaster strikes in our region, there’s a McKinney-based organization that is one of the first on the scene. Ready to provide immediate relief to first responders as well as victims, a well-organized, professional non-profit assistance group called Minuteman Disaster Response (MDR) can be counted on. MDR is ready to help in all forms of disaster: hurricane, tornado, fast-spreading fire, explosion, or other unfortunate, life-threatening incidents.

Minuteman Disaster Response was one of the first on the scene in Moore, Okla., after the tornadoes.

Courtesy photos

Minuteman Disaster Response was one of the first on the scene in Moore, Okla., after the tornadoes.

Beginning with a group of caring employees of Pogue Construction Company, the organization began providing assistance to first responders and disaster victims several years ago. It had long been a special program of Pogue to assist the region when disasters hit, but upon the return of volunteers to Texas following 2011’s devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo., the group realized that a more formal, organized unit could provide even greater, faster assistance. As a result, the charitable non-profit Minuteman Disaster Response team was formed.

Stationed at Pogue’s McKinney headquarters, the centerpiece of MDR’s equipment is a custom 43-foot trailer with truck with onboard equipment including generators, an ATV, an air-conditioned room, first aid supplies and emergency provisions. MDR has emerged as a leading first-response team that has brought attention to McKinney for its ability to provide help immediately following a disaster. MDR has responded to disasters as widespread as 2011’s Bastrop County fires, last year’s tornado in Lancaster, and this spring’s devastating tornadoes in Granbury, Texas and Moore, Okla.

“Organizing this unit has been instrumental in bringing direct relief to disaster-hit areas, of course, but it also provides a way for residents in McKinney to help in such times,” explains Brian Ballard, an MDR founders and administrator. “Residents are able to help by making tax deductible contributions to Minuteman Disaster Response, or even – if they feel so called – by becoming certified in first aid or other skills and bringing them to the area as part of the team.”

One of the things that sets MDR apart from other disaster relief groups, is its focus on responding to disaster so quickly that it serves as a key player in assisting other immediate first-responders such as local police and fire departments.

Members of the leadership team of Minuteman Disaster Response, which includes Brian Ballard, Paul Pogue, Brandon Pogue and Michael Gamble.

Members of the leadership team of Minuteman Disaster Response, which includes Brian Ballard, Paul Pogue, Brandon Pogue and Michael Gamble.

Along with delivery of timely relief, supplies and facilities for staging operations, MDR has grown to include a team of certified and credentialed well-trained volunteers who are committed to bring help at a moment’s notice.

If you would like to help this effort, contributions are tax deductible and always put to immediate use for strengthening MDR’s effectiveness. Residents are encouraged, if they are able, to get even more directly involved through sponsored training to become a certified member of the MDR first-response team.

McKinney’s own Minuteman Disaster Response is ready the moment it is called upon to help – or even literally save – people in need. Remember, your support and involvement is always welcome!

For more information, contact Brian Ballard at 972-585-2411 or Brian@MinutemanResponse.org. Visit them online at MinutemanResponse.org.