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Emergency Management - Fire Marshal's Office


Severe Weather Declaration

June 4 2024 Disaster Declaration

Fire Marshal / Emergency Management
Emergency Management Coordinator
Patrick Dooley

115 N. Main; Suite 500-A
Henderson, Texas  75652

Phone:  903-657-8571 ext. 101
Fax: 903-657-0324
  • Name
    Phone Number
    Email:
    Reason for Inquiry

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Emergency Management
Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator
James Pike

115 N. Main; Suite 500-A
Henderson, Texas  75652

Phone:  903-657-8571 ext. 102
Emergency Management
Support Director - Radio and IT Services
Michael Searcy

115 N. Main; Suite 500-A
Henderson, Texas  75652

Phone:  903-657-8571 ext. 104
Emergency Management
Community Liaison
Vickie Murillo

115 N. Main; Suite 500-A
Henderson, Texas  75652

Phone:  903-657-8571
Emergency Management
Emergency Operations Center Director
Patty Sullivan

115 N. Main; Suite 500-A
Henderson, Texas 75652

Phone: 903-657-0326
Fax: 903-657-0324
  • Name
    Phone Number
    Email:
    Reason for Inquiry

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Emergency Management
Public Information Officer
David Chenault

115 N. Main; Suite 500-A
Henderson, Texas  75652

Phone:  903-657-8571 ext. 103
Emergency Management
Support Services - Fleet and Response
Jacob Dooley

115 N. Main; Suite 500-A
Henderson, Texas  75652

Phone:  903-657-8571
Emergency Management
Chaplain
Stacie Horne

115 N. Main; Suite 500-A
Henderson, Texas  75652

Phone:  903-657-8571 x105

Emergency Management Coordinator

Patrick Dooley

Fire Marshal
Inspections
Fire Investigations


Current - 115 North Main, Suite 500-A, Henderson, TX  75652
Future - 1515 Whippoorwill, Henderson, Texas  75652
Henderson, TX 75652
Phone: 903-657-8571

 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Rusk County Fire Marshal's Office and Office of Emergency Management is to provide for, support, and to assist in training of all Fire departments within unincorporated Rusk County. Further, this office will strive to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Rusk County in accordance with Chapter 352 of the Texas Local Government Code, county policy and sound emergency management practices.

The Rusk County Fire Marshal's Office and Office of Emergency Management will strive for professionalism in all areas of performance. We will provide the best possible services at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers of Rusk County and the State of Texas. We will apply the law and county policies fairly and consistently throughout the county. We will communicate openly with the public, elected officials, fellow fire departments and law enforcement agencies we serve.

Thank you,

Patrick Dooley

 

RUSK COUNTY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT | FIRE MARSHAL

Welcome to the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Rusk County Fire Marshal's Website.  Our mission is to provide programs and activities to residents and county and city departments to help them prepare for, mitigate and recover from the effects of natural and man-made disasters.  We accomplish this through implementation of all four phases of emergency management: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. 

The following is a summary of our responsibilities from the Governor's Office - https://gov.texas.gov/organization/disabilities/emergency_management

In Texas, Mayors and County Judges have responsibility for emergency preparedness and response within their local jurisdictions. These officials may appoint an Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) to manage day-to-day program activities. Local emergency management and homeland security programs include threat identification and prevention activities, emergency planning, providing or arranging training for local officials and emergency responders, planning and conducting drills and exercises, carrying out public education relating to known hazards, designing and implementing hazard mitigation programs, coordinating emergency response operations during incidents and disasters, and carrying out recovery activities in the aftermath of a disaster.

Local emergency management and homeland security organizations may be organized at the city level, at the county level or as an inter-jurisdictional program that includes one or more counties and multiple cities.  Local emergency management organizations may be organized as part of the Mayor or County Judge's staff, as a separate office or agency, as part of the local fire department or law enforcement agency, or in other ways.  Local emergency management and homeland security agencies may be identified as emergency management offices or agencies, homeland security offices or agencies, or some combination of the two.

Most local governments have an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staffed by members of its various departments that is activated to manage the response to major threats and incidents and coordinate internal and external resource support. Some local governments have an alternate or mobile EOC as well. Most local governments use the Incident Command System (ICS) as their incident management scheme. Under ICS, an Incident Commander typically directs the on-scene response by local responders from a field command post set up at or near the incident site. Responders from other jurisdictions and state and federal responders that have been called on to assist when local resources are inadequate to deal with a major emergency are integrated into the local incident command system.

ELECTRICAL OUTAGE MAP LINKS

SWEPCO     |    Rusk County Electric     |     ONCOR

911 Addressing - Please visit the link below for ETCOG 911 Addressing Services

https://www.etcog.org/public-safety-services

For more information on the four phases of emergency management in Rusk County, click the boxes below to expand on those topics.

  • Welcome to the Rusk County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Website.  Our mission is to provide programs and activities to residents and county and city departments to help them prepare for, mitigate and recover from the effects of natural and man-made disasters.  We accomplish this through implementation of all four phases of emergency management: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.

    Primary Hazards in Rusk County

    Natural Hazards

    •     Extreme Heat
    •     Cold Weather
    •     Flooding
    •     Severe Thunderstorms
    •     Tornadoes
    •     Wildfires

    Man Made Hazards

    •     Active Shooters
    •     Hazardous Materials & Chemical Emergencies
    •     Public Health Emergencies
    •     Radiological Emergencies
    •     Structure Fires
    •     Terrorism
    •     Utility Outages

    Preparedness | Are you Ready?

    Four Steps to Preparedness

    Make an Emergency Plan

    Each person, business, and family should have a plan in case disaster strikes.  You may not have time to prepare before an incident.

    Developing and practicing your emergency plan with your family keeps everyone on the same page. The resources below will help you develop your emergency plan.

    Plan to Go

    Whether for a fire, hurricane, hazardous materials incident, or flood, you may be required to quickly evacuate your home, neighborhood, or the city.  Have a plan ahead of time to make sure everyone in your family knows what to do, where to go, and how to get a hold of each other:

           How will you be notified of emergencies?

    •         Sign up for Smart911, and have multiple ways to stay informed about emergencies in your area.
      What are your family’s safe places?
    •         Remember, you may not always be home when an emergency occurs.  Pick safe places in each of these categories, and have family members write them down for easy reference:
    •         A safe place, such as a neighbor’s house, mailbox, park etc. in your neighborhood in case en emergency occurs in your home.
    •         A rally point somewhere in another part of the city, in case you are unable to get back to your neighborhood.  Consider a family member or friend’s house.
    •         A family member or friend’s house outside of the area, in case a catastrophic emergency means you cannot remain in, or return to the area.  Make sure everyone has this person’s phone number written down as well.

    Plan to Stay

    •     Designate a shelter-in-place room in your home. This should be an interior room with few doors and no windows (like a closet or bathroom).  You may be required to shelter-in-place during severe weather, during a hazardous materials incident, or in a law-enforcement situation like an active shooter.
    •     Make sure you have a Shelter-in-Place kit that has plastic sheeting and duct tape, in case a hazardous chemical emergency requires you to seal yourself in your shelter-in-place room.

    Plan to Stay In Touch

        Have multiple ways to get a hold of each other:

    •         Make sure everyone has written important phone numbers down. If mobile phone batteries die, you may need these written down instead.
    •         Make sure every family member is “connected” on social media – this might be an easy way to check in on each other.
    •         Make sure each family member knows how to “text” – oftentimes, when phone lines are down, text messages are able to get through.
    •         Designate an out-of-town relative or friend to be the “check-in” person.  Sometimes, its easier to call or contact someone outside of the area that’s been affected by an emergency.

    Plan for When You’re Away

    •     Emergencies can happen anytime – so be aware of your surroundings when you’re away from home, and be prepared to take action.
    •     Identify emergency exits when you go to public places, such as malls, community centers, restaurants, shops, and places of worship.
    •     Instruct children what to do, and where to go if there is an emergency and you become separated.
    •     Know the emergency plans for your children’s school, your workplace, and place of worship.  Know what to do if services or business is suspended due to an emergency, and what kind of communication to expect from authorities in those places.

    Practice your Plan

    Take a moment every year to practice your family’s emergency plan. This might include holding a drill that tests:

    •     How everyone would evacuate your home if there was a fire or other emergency
    •     How you would get a hold of each other after an emergency.
    •     What you would do if a hazardous chemical emergency happened and you had to shelter-in-place.

    Have an Emergency Supply Kit

    What should be in your emergency kit? Who should you plan for?  What resources are out there to help me make sure that I don’t miss something while packing it?

    All of these are very good questions. The links below will help you put together a family emergency kit, with all the necessary supplies  to be ready for whatever type of emergency.

    Building a Shelter-in-Place Kit

    Residents should be prepared to shelter-in-place in the event of an emergency. Emergencies that might trigger a shelter-in-place include: Tornadoes, Severe Weather, Hurricanes, Law Enforcement or terrorism situations, and hazardous material releases. Your Shelter-in-Place Kit should contain:

    •     Water (one gallon per person per day, for drinking and sanitation—up to a 7-day supply).
    •     Non-perishable food (up to a 7-day supply per person).
    •     Battery-powered radio (with extra batteries) or hand-crank radio.
    •     Weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries.
    •     Flashlight and extra batteries.
    •     First-aid supplies.
    •     Whistle to signal for help.
    •     Filter mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air.
    •     Moist towelettes, garbage bags, soap, disinfectant, and plastic ties for personal sanitation.
    •     Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities (water and electric).
    •     Manual can opener if your kit contains canned food.
    •     Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
    •     Plastic tarps for emergency roof repair.
    •     Items for unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formula, or diapers.
    •     Mess kits, paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils.
    •     Cash and change.
    •     Paper towels.
    •     Fire extinguisher.
    •     Rain gear, sturdy shoes, long pants, and gloves.
    •     Matches in a waterproof container.
    •     Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, birth certificates, passports, and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
    •     A stuffed animal or toy for your child and something to help occupy their time, like books or coloring books. If this includes a hand-held video game, make sure you have extra batteries.

    Photo of emergency supplies

    Make sure your Shelter-in-Place Kit has everything you need ahead of time.

    What does “Shelter-in-Place” mean?

    Shelter-in-Place orders are issued when it is safer for you to be sheltered indoors than for you to evacuate.

    In severe weather, you should:

    •     Seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest-floor possible.
    •     Get underneath a sturdy table or object and hold on.
    •     If you or your children have a bicycle helmet, put that on your/their head.
    •     Turn on a battery-powered radio and tune it to local radio, or the National Weather Service Radio Service (if equipped)
    •     DO NOT open windows or doors ahead of sheltering.

    In a hazardous material emergency, you should:

    •     Close all windows and doors.
    •     Turn off all Air-Conditioning and Heating systems.
    •     Seek shelter in an interior room with the fewest doors possible.
    •     Use plastic sheeting and duct tape to create cover all doors, windows and vents in the space with at least two inches of space around the edge.
    •     Turn on a battery-powered radio and tune it to local radio or use your smartphone to find information from official sources (such as ruskcountyoem.org).
    •     When the all-clear is given by local authorities, open all windows and doors and air-out the structure, unless told to do otherwise.

    In law enforcement situation, if you are ordered to shelter-in-place:

    •     Close and lock ALL windows and doors.
    •     If safe to do so, turn ON all exterior lights.
    •     Stay inside your home away from windows and doors.
    •     DO NOT open your door for ANYONE unless they show proper law enforcement identification.
    •     Turn on a battery-powered radio and tune it to local radio or use your smartphone to find information from official sources (such as ruskcountyoem.org).

    If you are in a situation where an active shooter is in close proximity, immediately attempt to Run. If you cannot run, then Hide as best you can.  If you cannot run or hide, then be prepared to Fight with anything you have at your disposal.  Watch the Run.Hide.Fight™ video for more information

    Building a “Go-Bag”

    A “Go-Bag” will ensure you have what you need in the event you have to quickly leave your home.  Make sure these supplies are already put together and in an easily-accessible place.  In some emergencies, you may only have seconds to grab your supplies and leave.

     

    •     Copies of your important papers in a waterproof bag.
    •     Extra set of car and house keys.
    •     Extra mobile phone charger.
    •     Bottled water and snacks such as energy or granola bars.
    •     First-aid supplies, flashlight, and whistle.
    •     Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (with extra batteries, if needed).
    •     A list of the medications each member of your family needs and at least a 14-day supply of each medication.
    •     Toothpaste, toothbrushes, wet cleansing wipes, and so on.
    •     Contact and meeting place information for your family and a map of your local area.
    •     Rain ponchos, or foul-weather gear
    •     External mobile phone battery pack or solar charger. Some hand-crank flashlights will also include a phone charger.
    •     Escape Tool for your car.

    Your Family’s Unique needs

    Families are not all the same. It’s important to include items in your go-bag and shelter-in-place kits that meet your family’s unique needs. Consider the following:

    People with Disabilities and Seniors:

    •     Supplies, such as catheters, medications, syringes, incontinence supplies etc.
    •     Contact information for your doctor, local pharmacy and medical suppliers
    •     Items that you use for your daily life that might be unique to you
    •     A list of every medication you take
    •     A list of daily activities for which you need help (dressing, bathing, eating, etc.)

    Families with Small Children:

    •     Diapers, wipes, ointments and creams for diaper changes
    •     Extra clothing for all-seasons
    •     Baby or toddler food, such as squeeze packets, or formula
    •     A stuffed animal or toy for your child and something to help occupy their time, like books or coloring books. If this includes a hand-held video game, make sure you have extra batteries.

    Be Informed About Emergencies in Your Area

    Knowing where to get trusted emergency information is important.  There are a variety of ways to get official information when it matters most:

    RCOEM Alerts

    Follow Rusk County OEM on Twitter @RuskCountyOEM and Facebook at facebook.com/ruskcountyoem

    Smart911 Emergency Notification System powered by RAVE Mobile Safety

    When emergencies happen in neighborhoods, the County uses a variety of tools to communicate with those affected.  The Rusk County Communications Center operates the Smart911 by Rave Mobile Safety which will pulse out a phone call to all registered landlines in a specific area.   Additionally, for those without landlines, the system allows you to opt-in to receive the call on your mobile or digital phone, as well as receive the message as an SMS Text and Email.  For more information, or to register your phone, visit here.

    Radio/Television

    Houston’s local radio and television stations play a key role in helping inform residents about emergency situations.  Rusk County’s local Emergency Alert System (EAS) stations are KNUE 101.5 FM and KYKX 105.7 FM  They will receive information first, and then it will be pulsed out to all other radio and television stations in our area including Henderson's KWRD 1470/98.5

    Wireless Emergency Alerts

    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are sent by authorized officials when life-threatening situations are occurring.  These include severe weather warnings, such as Tornadoes, Flash Floods and Hurricanes.  Local authorities, including the Rusk County OEM, have access to this system to help broadcast short, important messages to local residents.  Make sure your phone is set to receive WEA messages. You have the ability to opt-in or out of AMBER alerts and Emergency Alerts.  Please, at the very least, ensure that Emergency Alerts are active on your phone. Contact your phone carrier if you have problems accessing these settings on your device.

    Know Your Neighbors

    Communities are a key element to how well people respond to disasters. Having a prepared community around you will help you be able to better respond to a disaster and recover faster. Take a role in your community and lead how they respond.

    Rusk County CERT

    Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)

    The CERT training program is designed to fit into community members’ ordinary schedules. The training is divided up into eight three-hour modules. During that time, trainees will have classes on the National CERT program, the organizational structure used by government agencies in disasters, basic first aid techniques, basic search and rescue techniques, and ways to ensure that the individual trainee and his or her family members are prepared for a disaster. Classes are taught by local professionals who have experience in the units they instruct. The courses are managed by a lead instructor who has undergone a Train-the-Trainer program which meets the FEMA and CERT standards. All CERT training is provided free-of-charge.

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  • Response

    The Rusk County Office of Emergency Management (RCOEM) works in coordination with the Rusk County Sheriff's Office, City of Henderson, Texas Division of Emergency Management, and other organizations to maintain a prepared stance to respond to any and all emergencies that may impact our area.  This is done through continued training and exercises as well as weekly briefings to stay on top of trends and potential hazards.

    All agencies in our area have personnel trained in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as well as Incident Command System (ICS) to quickly take necessary responsibilities in the event of an incident that requires a multi-juridictional response.  Predetermined resources at the local, state, and federal level may be utilized in the response of a large scale emergency.

    Rusk County is fortunate to have many personnel who participate in voluntary organizations active in disasters (VOAD's) which are also organized at the regional, state, and federal levels including some which assisted in the response to the Memorial Day 2015 tornado which impacted Henderson and central Rusk County.

    RCOEM is looking to revive and build an active Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) comprised of trained and active volunteers prepared to respond to emergencies in our communities.  The CERT Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community. Visit https://www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams for more information about CERT Programs.

     

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  • Recovery

    Long after the initial emergency response phase is over, local jurisdictions will face an unenviable task of trying to maintain or reestablish essential services, utilities, and functionality.  This phase is labeled the recovery phase.

    A critical part of handling any serious emergency situation is in the management of the Disaster Recovery Phase. By definition, the Disaster Recovery Phase is likely to involve, to a significant degree, external emergency services.

    The priority during this phase is the safety and well being of the employees and other involved persons, the minimization of the emergency itself, the removal or minimization of the threat of further injury or damage and the re-establishment of external services such as power, communications, water etc. A significant task during this phase is also the completion of Damage Assessment Forms.

    In addition to the emergency services, the Disaster Recovery Phase may involve different personnel depending upon the type of emergency and a Disaster Recovery Team should be nominated according to the requirements of each specific crisis.

    Disaster Finance, Recovery, Mitigation, and Standards - From the Texas Division of Emergency Management

    What is Disaster Finance, Recovery Mitigation and Standards (DFRMS)?

    When disasters occur of a magnitude that state and federal assistance might be needed, the Recovery Section coordinates damage surveys with local and federal agencies, prepares disaster declaration requests for the Governor’s signature, and deploys staff to the affected area to coordinate the overall recovery process. For major disasters, state and federal recovery staffs are collocated in a Joint Field Office.

    TDEM’s Disaster Finance, Recovery, Mitigation, and Standards (DFRMS) staff includes: specialists who carry out disaster recovery programs for individual disaster survivors (Individual Assistance), as well as specialists who aid local governments and public entities, such as school districts and hospitals (Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation), with programs to repair or reconstruct facilities that were damaged or destroyed.

    DFRMS also includes TDEM’s disaster task force as well as the state disaster reimbursement section that assists jurisdictions with resources to financial respond to a disaster and with the reimbursement process to those jurisdictions that supply resources, human or material, during disastrous times.

     

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  • Mitigation

    What is Mitigation?

    Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. In order for mitigation to be effective we need to take action now—before the next disaster—to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, and insuring against risk). It is important to know that disasters can happen at any time and any place and if we are not prepared, consequences can be fatal.

    Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices, and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security and self-reliance.

    Hazard Mitigation

    Hazard mitigation is sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from hazards. Rusk County OEM provides support to local jurisdictions in the development of local Hazard Mitigation Plans. These plans form the foundation for a community's long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. The planning process is as important as the plan itself. It creates a mechanism for local risk-based decision making to reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes funding available to carry out certain strategies outlined in the hazard mitigation plans. However, as a condition of eligibility for that funding, local governments are required have to a FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plan and those plans must be updated every 5 years.  We are supported in this role by our district and regional coordinators with the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

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