MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF
First, I would like to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the survivors of the devastating wildfires and the families of those who have lost loved ones from this tragic event. You have experienced the unthinkable, but you are not alone. From first responders to chaplains, from firefighters to shelter volunteers, there are many folks whose names you may not know, but who are on the ground in your community to help you face the worst of the worst.
A deep, heartfelt thank you goes out to the first responders and volunteers who have worked night and day to take care of their fellow Texans. Your response to this event is absolutely outstanding.
It has been ten years since I walked through the rubble of the World Trade Center as part of Texas Task Force 1. The sights and sounds of those terrible days will remain with me for the rest of my life – along with the courage and bravery of the first responders who put their own lives on the line searching for survivors in those early days.
September is National Preparedness Month and the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Our nation has set aside this month not just to remember the tragedy but to reinforce the need for all of us to be prepared for disasters and emergencies.
Personal and family preparedness plans and emergency supply kits are necessities for each of us. But there are more ways to help our nation in being prepared. I would like to encourage all Texans to consider signing up for training – either as a member of a Community Emergency Response Team or with one of our many fine voluntary organizations in Texas.
When one area of Texas is struck by disaster, thousands of Texas volunteers from other areas stand ready to reach out and help. They are members of community organizations and faith-based groups who have trained ahead of time so that they can be effective. Whether they are serving meals, repairing roofs or handing out blankets and personal hygiene kits, Texas volunteers make all the difference in helping our communities recover.
If you want to honor the victims, the survivors and the first responders of 9/11, I can think of no better way than to get trained and get involved. Your personal contribution as a trained volunteer will be immeasurably valuable to our state. Completing volunteer training BEFORE disaster strikes can make you more effective and better prepared in times of emergency.
Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM®
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