The eighth annual South Texas All Hazards Conference takes place March 25-26 at the McAllen Performing Arts Center and McAllen Convention Center. It is the second largest training conference of its type in the state of Texas.
More than 3,000 individuals from public health, public safety, public works, incident and emergency management and various law enforcement, first responders and educational institutions seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge may attend. The conference is open to local, state or federal personnel who respond to emergencies. This includes natural disasters or those caused by humans.
The conference follows the National Incident Management System in both organization and execution. NIMS is a standardized approach to incident management from the Department of Homeland Security to facilitate coordination between all responders.
“In this day and age, we must take every opportunity to train, not only our first responders, but also the support staff, in the unified command structure. During an emergency, NIMS ensures that crucial information is communicated,” said Ricardo Saldaña, Hidalgo County Emergency Management coordinator. “All you have to do is watch the news to know that emergencies can come in any form and from any source.”
The conference provides leaders, decision makers, healthcare clinicians, preparedness professionals and first responders with opportunities for networking, resource sharing, scholarly exchange and continuing education. Attendees will receive continuing education credits through Texas A&M Engineering Extension Services and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The theme “Texas Strong” represents the quick, unfailing and efficient response to emergencies and natural disasters found throughout the state of Texas. This comes not only from those in law enforcement, first responders and other corresponding agencies, but also from everyday citizens. According to Chief W. Nim Kidd of the Texas Emergency Management System, Texas has more disasters than any other U.S. state.
Speakers include Commissioner of Health Dr. John Hellerstadt and Chief David Coatney, director/CEO of TEEX. Additionally, Admiral Bret Giroir, United States Assistant Secretary of Health and Dr. Alexander Eastman, Senior Medical Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will be a part of the roster of speakers.
Also ongoing during the STAHC will be Immunization Summit. Here, immunization leaders and health care providers come together to network. It also leads to learning ways to address immunization barriers and improve immunization rates across the lifespan.
Registration for the South Texas All Hazards Conference is now open online.