TCC hosts first multiple-day regional boat-assisted drill for emergency responders next week

Emergency responders from across the region will converge at three North Texas area lakes for the first boat-assisted drill (BAR-X) for responders hosted by Tarrant County College. The drill underscores TCC’s ongoing goal of serving the community.

The multiple-day BAR-X drill—funded by a Department of Homeland Security grant administered by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)—allows various departments in North Texas to be evaluated on the equipment and skills they would use in flash flood rescue settings.

The three-day event will take place at Eagle Mountain Lake, Joe Pool Lake and Lake Lewisville. During the exercise boat crews will work to locate “victims” around the lakes and return them safely to an egress point.  Crews will use GPS coordinates to locate victims during the three-hour exercise.  The purpose of the event is to identify strengths and weaknesses in rescue boat crews and their training within the COG region.

“The drills planned for next week are particularly important because they are the most complex of this type that we have administered and perhaps ever in this area,” said Pat English, coordinator of TCC’s Fire Service Training Center. “The exercises will provide critical insight for the Urban Search and Rescue Working Group. It will be used to develop training that specifically addresses the skills most needed by area first responders.”

Participating entities include Arlington, Bedford, Cedar Hill, Dallas, Euless, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Garland, Grand Prairie Haltom City, Hurst, Little Elm, Parker County ESD 6 and ESD 1, Plano, Lewisville, Mansfield, Rowlett, Seagoville, Tarrant Regional Water District, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Tarrant County College and the Fire Service Training Center,” said Molly McFadden, director of emergency preparedness for NCTCOG. “The upcoming BAR-X is the latest example of how TCC helps us ensure emergency responders in our region are prepared to handle emergencies they will face in their roles to keep citizens in North Texas safe.”

TCC is one of the region’s primary trainers for emergency responders. In addition to conducting training, TCC’s Fire Service Training Center offers hands-on, real-world scenarios that prepare students for careers as emergency and first responders. The facilities at TCC Northwest, 4801 Marine Creek Parkway in Fort Worth, also is available for use by fire departments and emergency personnel from across North Texas.

The Fire Service Training Center and Criminal Justice Training Center both offer academies for new cadets as well as professional development opportunities for current emergency personnel. For more information on their programs, visit webpages for the Fire Service Training Center and Criminal Justice Training Center. TCC also trains emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

Media interested in covering the event should contact Rita Parson at 817-515-1542 by Monday, June 24.