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Colonel John Tanner joined the ALERT staff in 1994, just a few short months after its inception; he served as ALERT’s directed from 2002 to 2016. Before working with ALERT, Colonel Tanner worked for AT&T for seventeen years and spent six years in the Army Reserves 94th General Hospital. During that time, he also served as a youth director for seven years and taught character and Biblical principles in the public schools of Moscow, Russia for nine months. In ALERT’s early days, Colonel Tanner developed the Emergency Response Training phase and taught Search and Rescue. He has taken part in almost 100 SAR missions to date, including the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery, as well as more than 40 disaster relief deployments. Colonel Tanner and his wife Janet have been married for over forty-three years, and have three sons and ten grandchildren.

Colonel Tanner is trained or certified in:
Firefighter I
Underwater Recovery (NAPD)
Sawyer
Emergency Care Attendant (1988 – 1992)
NIMS ICS 100, 200, 300, 400, 700, and 800
Basic, Core, and Advance Life Support
Principles of Emergency Management – G230
Emergency Planning – G235
Wildland Firefighting – S 130
Wildland Fire Behavior – S 190
Wildland Intermediate Fire Behavior – S 290
Fundamentals of Search and Rescue – NASAR
Tracking as a Resource for Search and Rescue
Weapons of Mass Destruction: Thinking Like a Terrorist
Texas Terrorism Awareness – G950
Bomb Awareness
Pastoral Crisis Intervention
FEMA/USAR International Deployment
Urban SAR Tactics