Special Teams and other services of Texas City Fire Dept.

Water 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.

CPR Education

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 emergency.

Emergency Medical Dispatch

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 pre-hospital emergencies.

Emergency 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.

Hazardous 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.

Fire Safety House

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.

Industrial Responses

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.

High Angle 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.

Honor Guard

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 functions.