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TEEX trains more than 2,000 responders in Puerto Rico

More than 2,000 Puerto Rican responders recently completed two weeks of TEEX’s National Incident Management System/Incident Command System training on-site in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.

Stephen Hightower, TEEX Program Supervisor, coordinated efforts in early September with the Puerto Rico State Administrative Agency to teach the courses, which were conducted at Vega Alta and Mayaguez. (In photo, a TEEX class for 300 is held in a gymnasium in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.)

The courses examine how jurisdictions plan, prepare for, organize and respond to major incidents and events. Participants also learn the organizational structure of the incident command system and how resources are managed before, during and after an incident.

According to Hightower, talks are underway with Puerto Rican officials to consider working with TEEX to establish a Cooperative Learning Center in Puerto Rico, which would encompass most response disciplines.

TEEX helps 5th Army prepare to aid civilian authorities during a disaster

The 5th Army-US ARNORTH recently participated in a deployment exercise at TEEX’s Emergency Operations Training Center through TEEX’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center. The series of exercises was designed to test US ARNORTH’s capability to provide support to civilian authorities in the event of a catastrophic incident within the United States. (In photo, staff members from the ARNORTH Task Force Two participate in the exercise held in September at the EOTC.)

Army officials were tested on the command and control of more than 5,000 simulated Department of Defense forces working with federal and state authorities after major terrorist attacks in Chicago and Indianapolis. The exercise linked over 100 personnel from US ARNORTH’s Task Force 2 Command Post at the EOTC in College Station with 30 participants assigned to the Defense Coordinating Office from FEMA Region I and V working out of Indianapolis.

The intense, four-day exercise on Sept. 18-21 followed a similar smaller exercise conducted by TEEX last April. The TEEX team spent two months developing the exercise, which required TEEX staff to work 24 hours a day during part of the exercise to carry out all of the elements. Lt. Gen. Robert Clark, who commands both the 5th Army and US ARNORTH visited the exercise in College Station on Sept. 20.

"Based on feedback from Army participants and Army observer/controllers, the exercise went very well," said Doug Jackson, NERRTC Program Coordinator for DoD/WMD Programs. "We tested their skills and this served to enhance their capabilities."

Maj. Gen. Tom Matthews, Commander of Task Force 2 stationed at Fort Sam Houston, said the exercise was held at a "great facility with great support." "There were good TEEX role players who kept the OCP (operation command post) players engaged…[this] forced the players to work the issues as in real life," he added.

Perry discusses Hydrogen Sulfide safety in Professional Safety journal

Frank Perry, TEEX adjunct instructor and chair of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z390 Accredited Standards Committee, discussed the revised standard and the importance of recognizing the dangers of Hydrogen Sulfide exposure and providing the required training for workers and instructors in the October issue of Professional Safety.

"There is little reason why tragic overexposure incidents should continue to occur. Most serious incidents and fatalities occur as a result of untrained workers becoming would-be rescuers, and ultimately, another statistic," Perry says in the article. He adds that the newly revised standard is already improving hiring practices and will promote safe work procedures and proper use of personal protective equipment. The monthly journal Professional Safety is published by the American Society of Safety Engineers.

New PRT 2006-07 Catalog highlights 50 TEEX courses

The newly published 2006-07 TEEX Professional & Regulatory Training (PRT) catalog highlights descriptions and class schedules for more than 50 courses. Besides OSHA and PRT courses, the 120-page, four-color catalog also includes courses from TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute, Public Safety & Security and Engineering, Utilities and Public Works Training Institute. You can view the catalog online at www.teex.com/prt or email: otisec@teexmail.tamu.edu to request a printed catalog.

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The Texas Engineering Extension Service has played an invaluable role in the training of UXO Tech I’s…to support the Coalition Munitions Program in Iraq as well as the ongoing Military Munitions Response Program.

— C. David Douthat, P.E., CSP, Ordinance and Explosives, USAESCH
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