Texas Southmost College, in collaboration with the Brownsville Police Department, recently hosted a multi-agency first responder coordination meeting to discuss emergency response in and around the college.
TSC and Brownsville PD proposed to other local, state and federal agencies a three-phased approach for creating a coordination plan among agencies.
“TSC’s unique location to the border and within the city of Brownsville means that multiple law enforcement agencies are within minutes of our campus and would respond in the event of an active attack,” said Associate Vice President of Operations Jaime Salazar. “This has prompted us to consider the need for a first responder coordination plan, which we hope we will never have to use, but if we do, we’re ready.”
The new coordination plan will identify agency and stakeholder capabilities and responsibilities, and consist of an incident command system. It will also identify an incident command post and staging area while providing an execution plan for discussion and operational-based exercises.
“TSC’s vision of an advanced emergency management system to increase security, mitigate risk and maintain a safe environment for learning and working at TSC has been established, and the first responder coordination plan will take it to the next level,” said TSC President Jesus Roberto Rodriguez. “This proactive approach ensures that our campus community feels safe and that we have a plan in place should the need arise.”
Futhering A Partnership
In the college’s preemptive approach to emergencies, TSC has integrated a new Safety and Security Command Center. This will serve as an incident command post with both a crisis communication room and conference room in the event of natural or man-made disasters.
Emergency response already includes an established Brownsville PD partnership for emergency notification and security protocols, as well as an increasing presence of security.
Brownsville Police Chief Felix Sauceda said that creating an emergency response plan will give everyone a cohesive understanding of responsibilities. It will also will eliminate confusion when time matters.
“Having an emergency response plan will reduce any confusion during emergency situations,” said Sauceda. “Having all our local agencies discuss how we should approach any crisis will not only benefit the TSC community but our entire Brownsville community.”
Salazar said that establishing coordination and collaboration with other law enforcement agencies has been a longtime goal. He is excited to see that it’s becoming a reality.
“Bringing security and emergency technology, coordination and collaboration has always been our goal,” Salazar said. “I would like to thank the TSC Board of Trustees and President Rodriguez for prioritizing, investing and supporting safety and security for TSC and our surrounding communities.”