Washington County EMS provided an overview today (Tuesday) to county commissioners about the agency’s response to the Brenham DPS office incident on April 12th.

Washington County EMS Director
Kevin Deramus gives a report to
county commissioners on Tuesday
regarding the EMS response to the
attack at the Brenham DPS office on
April 12th.

During a workshop session, EMS Director Kevin Deramus briefed the court about the actions taken by EMS officials after a stolen 18-wheeler rammed into the facility.  He evaluated what the department did well and what could be improved for similar mass-response incidents in the future.

Deramus said the department has three keys to ensure efficiency and effectiveness at scenes like the one that day: accurate triage to determine how urgent the situation is, maintaining easy access into and out of the area without getting gridlocked, and getting proper treatment or medicine for the patients wherever they are.  He said all three were accomplished thanks in part to the work of emergency dispatchers and assisting law enforcement.

Speaking on individual aspects of EMS’ response, Deramus said the proximity of the department’s station on Highway 290 to the DPS station allowed for a very rapid response.  He also spoke positively on the triage and treatment of patients, getting them on their way to the care they needed.  In addition, he praised the “seamless” communication and “hand-in-hand” collaboration between agencies.

Deramus did say there could stand to be improvements on the technology side, saying while communication from parties onsite was strong, it could have been better for responding agencies outside the immediate region that came into play once the severity of the incident was realized.  He also said minimizing scene time for some of those outside agencies is important, as there needs to be the same expectations from outside resources that there are with local resources.  Finally, he said a better job could have been done of getting information and formal communication out to the public to calm constituents and assure that the situation was being taken care of. 

The court thanked Deramus and the department for the efforts of those who responded, with County Judge John Durrenberger saying it is unfortunate that this work had to be done, but it was done in a very professional manner.  Commissioner Kirk Hanath mentioned the role that the EMS helicopter played during the incident and said without it, the outcome could have been much different.

Also during the workshop, Deramus talked about the department’s assistance with Texas A&M Task Force 1 in performing water rescues during the recent flooding in East Texas.  He showed several videos of task force members, comprised of first responders from several agencies across the state, including some from EMS and the Brenham Fire Department, rescuing residents who were trapped as their homes or vehicles were surrounded by floodwaters.   

Deramus said the task force performed 50 rescues during its deployment.  That total does not include what individual jurisdictions performed, as Deramus noted that Montgomery County conducted around 300 rescues alone.  The task force also assisted with 300 evacuations, and there were over 300 search and rescue personnel on scene. 

Deramus said locally, there are 12 members credentialed to serve on the boat rescue team, with six going out on deployment at a time.  He noted that through a memorandum of understanding, the state reimburses the members who deploy for their time, as well as the staff who fill their shifts back home.

Durrenberger said it is important to “help your neighbors”, adding if the flooding was happening locally, Washington County would be glad to have the extra assistance.

The workshop also allowed commissioners to provide brief updates on miscellaneous county projects in the works. 

Commissioner Dustin Majewski spoke on the file storage facility.  He said the inspection for the building, formerly the location of ATS Irrigation at 2509 Highway 105, is scheduled to be completed this Friday.  Negotiations will continue once the results from the inspection are in.

Next, Commissioner Candice Bullock talked about the courthouse landscaping project.  She said a contract has been negotiated with Terralab Landscape Architects.  GrantWorks now has the contract, and the item will be on the commissioners court’s agenda next week.  She said the project consists of three tasks, which include analyzing the previously completed courthouse restoration project, which should take 4 to 5 weeks; pre-design meetings and programming, set to take 4 to 6 weeks; and schematic design, which is expected to last 6 to 8 weeks.

Following that, Commissioner Hanath discussed the EMS station project at Lake Somerville.  He said the property has a city water line running next to it, so getting electricity to the site has been a challenge.  The county has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering and Bluebonnet Electric to move forward with that process.  Hanath said work will move quicker once the electrical is done. 

Last up for an update was the jail kitchen renovations.  Hanath said the county recently got notification from DRG Architects that the company is getting a soil report and survey done through Gessner Engineering.  Plans will then be presented to the court for review. 

What’s your Reaction?

One Comment

  1. Deramus could sale T Bones to vegetarians so the helicopter saved the day. Shame the Sheriffs Department seldom mention except for the non progress on the kitchen but the problems for the EMS station not needed at Lake Somerville is critical so much Bull so little cows.

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