Special Teams and
other services of Texas City Fire Dept.
Rescue Response Craft
A team of Fire Fighters obtained
a military surplus boat in 1994 from the City of Friendswood. Mercury Outboard
Inc. provided the engine through a special program for public safety departments.
Fire Fighters literally designed, constructed, retrofitted, and equipped the
boat for service. The water craft has responded to hundreds of calls for assistance
since inception in the spring of 1994. The teams from Station 2 offer a wide
array of services ranging from safety patrol around the dike during major
holidays, boat and passenger recovery, emergency medical services, and water/boating
safety. Personnel are certified in water rescue, boat safety, and maritime
rescue techniques. The water rescue craft was used during extreme flooding
in the Conroe area in the fall of 1994 rescuing two hundred people in a forty
eight hour period and again in the greater Houston area in 1998 during extreme
flooding. A second boat has been donated and retrofitted to replace the original
craft described above.
The Department started an employee
and community CPR training program in 1993. Employee certification takes place
each year with over 250 employees participating. Monthly instruction is offered
as a free service to the general public in Galveston County in addition to
the "Mass CPR" training co-sponsored by COM and T.C.F.D. each spring.
It is estimated that eight thousand people have been certified and/or re-certified
since inception. This program has provided a vital link in our pre-hospital
emergency medical services system making Texas City and surrounding communities
some of the safest places to live, work, or visit if you suffer a medical
T.C.F.D. in conjunction with
T.C.P.D. instituted "Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols" in 1999
after two years of program development and Dispatch Certification training.
The protocols, which follow AMA national standards allows the Dispatcher to
quickly and accurately classify, prioritize, and categorize each medical call
to ensure response of appropriate fire department and ambulance resources.
Also, Dispatchers are now trained to provide invaluable life sustaining instructions
such as CPR to the calling party or other bystanders until the first responders
arrive. This highly complex program allows the fire department to focus on
actual emergencies while relegating non-emergent situations to our EMS Contractor,
which reasonably assures availability of adequate resources for life threatening
Medical Services First Responder Program
All Fire Fighters voluntarily
achieved Emergency Medical Technician licensure during 1992. All Fire Apparatus
and Rescue Vehicles are now capable of providing advanced life support pre-hospital
care to include cardiac defibrillation, intravenous fluids and drugs and other
invasive life support techniques. The department now has a significant number
of certified Intermediate EMT's and Paramedics providing some of the highest
quality pre-hospital emergency care in the region to augment our private ambulance
contractor to ensure rapid response and timely intervention for medical emergencies.
Materials Response Team
The department in cooperation
with FEMA certified all Fire Fighters in hazardous materials response capability
over a two year period. Many members are now certified at the Technical level,
which is the highest degree of certification for response teams. Our program
and its coordinators have achieved national recognition by FEMA. A newly purchased
24' trailer was retrofitted and equipped by Fire personnel for response and
mitigation of all Haz-Mat incidents in our jurisdiction. On board computers
are available for technical data of chemicals and materials and for instant
"plume modeling" in the event of chemical releases. T.C.F.D. Haz-Mat
Team provides response services countywide through mutual aid agreements and
cooperative agreements with the Galveston County Health Office and County
Fire Fighters Association.
The department in concert with
the Galveston County Junior League acquired a Fire Safety House following
twelve months of planning and development. Sterling Chemical and Amoco assisted
in funding the project. The teaching aid (Safety House) is used for fire safety
and evacuation, home safety, medical emergencies, chemical emergencies, and
other events such as hurricane preparedness. Over ten thousand children and
adults have participated since October of 1996 throughout Galveston County.
Total project costs $50,000.00.
In late 1995 following a number
of significant industrial emergencies it became obvious that greater emphasis
had to be placed on public information and protection during industrial emergencies.
As a result, T.C.F.D. instituted a policy that places fire department units
in response to all industrial emergencies to ensure accurate and timely emergency
information and to safeguard the public should the emergency escalate. This
procedure along with our new outdoor warning system, automated ring down phone
system, Channel 64, CATV Voice Override, Pies, and 530 AM, affords the highest
level and public notification and information.
Rescue\Confined Space Rescue Team
The department trained and certified
a confined space and high angle rescue response team on each shift in 1994.
These individuals are trained and equipped at the highest level possible in
all areas of intricate rescue of individuals trapped in vessels, tanks, towers,
processing units, and other confined areas throughout Texas City, especially
within the industrial zone. A number of highly complex and sophisticated rescues
of industrial workers have been accomplished by this team since inception.
At the suggestion of Mayor Doyle,
T.C.F.D. created a well trained precisional Honor Guard squad that has been
used for numerous events in Texas City and throughout Galveston County. The
Honor Guard provides the finishing touch and civic pride during ceremonial