Washington County EMS Director Kevin Deramus gave the Commissioners Court and overview of their deployment with Texas Task Force One during Hurricane Harvey. Deramus and the swift water rescue team started in the Rockport – Victoria area and worked up the coast over the next 14 days staying on the leading edge of the storm. He said that parts of the area received over 50 inches of rain with the Hurricane. A total of 21,000 people were deployed during the hurricane and were involved in the rescue or evacuation of over 75,000 people. Deramus said that the Washington County team worked with multiple other agencies, often utilizing high profile vehicles and helicopters to relocate people.
Deramus pointed out that to be a part of Task Force One takes a huge commitment from the county and the EMS personnel involved. The 12 EMS team members go through over 600 hours of training each year to be part of the swift water rescue team. 99 percent of the budget for the Washington County team comes from donations and grants. Commissioner Kirk Hanath said that the lessons learned by EMS personnel during the deployment can now be utilized in the county. He said that he appreciates that our EMS is not satisfied with just meeting the state average but they are actually the industry leader in Texas.
Photos courtesy of Kevin Deramus - Washington County EMS