Hometown heroes. They are the men and women who risk their lives day-in and day-out to keep our local communities safe. And when disaster strikes hundreds of miles away? They again stand tall in the face of adversity, proud to serve their neighbors in need.
As Hurricane Harvey pummeled the Texas coast, Round Rock first responders quickly came together to answer calls for assistance. They said goodbye to their own families and worked to help save the lives of others, reconnect loved ones and began the long road of working to rebuild communities devastated by the storm. They, like they do all so often, put the lives of others before their own, without hesitation.
Often lost in the shuffle of the next big story, the effort of these men and women is many times overlooked. But not today.
This morning, country superstar Dierks Bentley and the folks from “Good Morning America” invited local first responders, including those from Round Rock who were part of the Hurricane Harvey response team, to a surprise block party where they received a very special “thank you.”
So how did our local first responders help during Harvey rescue and relief? Here’s a quick rundown:
Round Rock Police Department
- We had three police officers respond personally in the first day or two using their own or friend’s boats
- Our police department and Police Officers Association collected $4,600 in cash and filled up a trailer full of baby wipes, beef jerky, bug spray, hand sanitizer, Gatorade, and numerous other non-perishables to provide to first responders in Sugar Land as well as their families during this difficult time
- At the request of the State Operations Center, we sent five officers to assist the Houston Police Department for seven days, pulling 14-16 hour shifts, to cover neighborhood checkpoints and conduct criminal apprehension patrols
- We also sent five officers to Vidor, to assist with crime suppression and apprehension. These officers worked 14 days straight, pulling 14-16 hour shifts
Round Rock Fire Department
- An Engine Company of five firefighters deployed to Bacliff to fight fires and perform low water rescues
- A boat team with five firefighters deployed to Montgomery County, and performed many water rescues
- A second boat team with five firefighters deployed to the Port Arthur area, and performed many water rescues
- A tanker crew with two firefighters responded to Beaumont to assist with firefighting capabilities
- Two elite personnel who serve on Texas Task Force One deployed to Rockport and later to Rosenberg, conducting search and rescue operations
- Four command staff served 12-hour shifts at the State Operations Center in Austin to fill emergency management positions
- Two logistics staff assisted at a state warehouse in San Antonio to assist statewide operations
- One firefighter was part of the Texas Task Force One crew that was among the first search and rescue teams to deploy to Puerto Rico
To say we are extremely proud of our public safety team would be an absolute understatement.
To each and every member of those teams: You are truly deserving of the word hero. Thank you for keeping our hometown safe and thank you for making Texas, the United States, and our world a better place to call home.