ETMC first responders arrive at staging area near San Antonio for Hurricane Harvey evacuation

Published on Friday, 25 August 2017 10:42 - Written by LOUANNA CAMPBELL, lcampbell@tylerpaper.com 

East Texas first responders have been dispatched to south Texas to assist state and federal agencies with hurricane evacuation efforts.

As Hurricane Harvey was strengthening and bearing down on the Texas Gulf Coast, the state operations center called on ETMC for support. 

ETMC EMS teams were placed on standby Thursday morning, but dispatched to the AT&T Stadium in San Antonio about noon, according to ETMC Division Chief Ed Brando.

"Two ambulances and a strike team leader left Tyler about 4:30 p.m. to link up with three other ambulances from other agencies," Brando said. "The team was in place shortly before midnight and has already been out on a call in Victoria."

The Texas Division of Emergency Management, Operations Section, manages and staffs the State Operations Center located at DPS Headquarters in Austin.

The State Operations Center serves as the state warning point and primary state direction and control facility, according to the DPS website.

During major emergencies, like Hurricane Harvey, the State Operations Center Management Team, state agencies and volunteer groups that make up the state Emergency Management Council and Federal liaison teams convene at the SOC to identify, mobilize, and deploy state and volunteer group resources to respond to the emergency.

The ETMC EMS teams left with 72 hours worth of food and water and about seven days worth of supplies aafter the State Operations Center called for assistance from ETMC. The teams will be in place for five days and return the spare ambulances to Tyler where they will be replenished and serviced and ready for redeployment if necessary, according to Brando. 

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