E-T Staff Report

Stephenville Fire Chief Jimmy Chew recently took part in an exercise held at the Emergency Service Training Institute in College Station to test the readiness of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS). This is a system developed jointly by the governor’s division of emergency management, the Texas Forest Service and the Texas Fire Chiefs Association to be used in identifying available resources and responding to major disasters. The system would be used in situations such as a hurricane, tornado or major wild land fires and could send equipment and manpower anywhere in the state.

“This was a great opportunity to learn how incidents are managed at the state level,” Chew said. “It should help us at the local level in tracking and using our resources more efficiently. We also now have a better idea of what help is available should we experience a major storm or other type incident and need additional help.”

Twenty-four fire chiefs from around the state, including Chew, participated. In the event that a disaster declaration is issued by the governor or president, members of this team will be called to the Texas Forest Service Emergency Operations Center in College Station. From there, they will oversee the deployment of personnel and equipment to assist in the situation as it develops