By RRAD Public Affairs OfficeMay 1, 2018
RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, Texas -- From car accidents to natural disasters, the Red River Army Depot's Directorate for Emergency Services (DES) is capable of providing mutual aid support to local, state and federal agencies.
In 2017, the depot's DES provided immediate response to 20 mutual aid incidents which included eight different community partners. These incidents involved structural fires, wildland fires and motor vehicle accidents.
"Not only do we provide support to the local communities, but they are also able to help us if we ever fall in need of assistance," said Wally Embrey, Director for Emergency Services. "Our partnerships with the surrounding communities, as well as state and federal agencies, are beneficial for all of us."
In addition, the depot's fire department also provided inter-service support to Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) from September 1 to November 1 in support of Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts. RRAD's Fire Department provided two firefighters/paramedics, Roy Johnson and Jeff Duncan, for the 60-day period in support of JBSA's Incident Support Base (ISB) mission providing emergency medical services and logistical support to more than 300 JBSA/FEMA workers and 364,000 displaced victims.
The depot's mutual aid doesn't stop at assisting with natural disasters and fires. Members of the DES team also conduct training efforts in the local community.
The latest addition to DES' training efforts taught students the correct cooling and approach tactics when responding to propane fires. The Propane Tank Fire Training Class, conducted on April 28, was held in collaboration with Texarkana College Fire Academy. The class included 31 students, nine instructors and three Safety Officers from area fire departments including: New Boston, Liberty-Eylau, Simms, Talco, Pleasant Grove, DeKalb and C-5. Two operations personnel from Welch Gas were also present during the training evolution.
On January 9, RRAD's Emergency Managers Danny Garrick and Matt Teston conducted an eight hour workshop on the campus of Texas A&M University-Texarkana titled "Incident Command System (ICS) - Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Interface." Twenty-two mutual aid partners, representing multiple disciplines attended the training. Both Garrick and Teston are certified by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) as adjunct instructors and authorized to instruct ICS resident courses.
Throughout 2017, Garrick also coordinated and conducted three additional week-long ICS resident courses in March, April and May, titled "Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents" (ICS-300) and "Advanced ICS for Complex Incidents" (ICS-400). These two courses are required by the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Army's Emergency Management Program for anyone who is required to operate as part of an incident command structure. An average of 21 students attended the three iterations of ICS courses representing multiple disciplines including RRAD emergency services, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texarkana Police Departments (Texas & Arkansas), New Boston Volunteer Fire Department and Texas A&M University-Texarkana.
The depot's DES is also works closely with the FBI and local law enforcement agencies to conduct any necessary investigations.
"We keep our lines of communications open," said Bill Pass, Deputy Director of DES. "Our main job is to ensure the safety of each person who works at Red River Army Depot but we also want to do whatever we can to keep members of the community safe as well."
The department also provides opportunities for local law enforcement agencies to use the depot's small arms range for training. Throughout 2017, the Texas State Police, Corrections Guard from Telford Unit, the U.S. Marshal's Office and the Rockwall Department of Justice Officers accounted for 48 range training events. The depot's range was also utilized by the Texas Northeast Region SWAT team, Bowie County Search and Rescue Unit and National Guard and Reserve units from the Army, Marine Corps and Texas National Guard.