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September 20, 2019

Special Operations

GOAL:  To respond to incidents requiring Special Operations (e.g. Technical Rescue, All Hazard type incidents) in a safe, effective and efficient manner, thereby protecting people, property and the environment.
The Technical Rescue Operations are part of a larger concept under the Ellis Dallas Unified Cooperative Team (EDUCT).  EDUCT is composed of the following participating cities/agencies:
  • Cedar Hill
  • DeSoto
  • Duncanville
  • Lancaster
  • Midlothian
  • Ferris
  • Red Oak
  • Ovilla
  • Waxahachie
  • Glenn Heights
These cities work together to mitigate incidents by providing specialty apparatus or equipment with personnel trained in several different disciplines.  These include but are not limited to:  Hazardous Materials, Swift Water Rescue, Technical Rope Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Trench/Collapse Rescue and Mass Casualty Incidents.  Apparatus that support these functions are funded through regional grants from State Homeland Security Program (SHSP).
The following cities provide these specialty apparatus to the participating EDUCT cities/agencies:
Heavy Rescue Operations
Red Oak Fire Rescue
Air & Rehab Functions
Ovilla Fire Department
Mobile Communications
DeSoto Fire Department
Mass Casualty Incidents
Lancaster Fire Department
Red Oak Fire Rescue is a member of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS).  Our task force consists of surrounding departments that make up three different types of emergency responses – all hazard, wildfire and structural. The TIFMAS goal is “90 trucks in 90 minutes” responding to a major emergency or disaster. 

The task force for our area is named “Southwest RED” (Regional Emergency Deployment). The cities involved in Task Force RED include the Ellis Dallas Unified Cooperative Team (EDUCT) member cities including Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Ferris, Glenn Heights, Lancaster, Midlothian, Ovilla, Red Oak and Waxahachie. Additional cities included in Task Force RED are Cleburne, Grand Prairie and Mansfield. 

Through this mutual aid system, we responded with a task force to Bridge City, Texas, for hurricane relief efforts in August 2008. Upon arrival to Bridge City, it was assessed that 95% of the town was flooded due to the Hurricane Ike storm surge. In that disastrous town, Red Oak Fire Rescue was able to provide fire protection, emergency medical service responses, search & rescue and community services. We also assisted with immunizations, debris removal and community outreach efforts. During the Easter holiday, Red Oak Fire Rescue responded to Jack County, Texas, to fight the largest wildfires in Jack County history. This fire encompassed more than 61,000 acres filled with numerous homes.
Reimbursement for services comes through the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, the Texas Forestry Service and FEMA. The reimbursements received for Red Oak Fire Rescue disaster relief efforts have been utilized by increasing your public safety capabilities through staffing, equipment and apparatus improvements.
Red Oak Fire Rescue received several forms of appreciation for their response to the areas in need. These consisted of an Award of Recognition from Governor Rick Perry, letter of appreciation from Jack Colley - Chief of Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, a letter of appreciation from the City of Jacksboro City Council, Proclamation from Ellis County and recognition from the Red Oak City Council. 
By being a member of this mutual aid system, these services are also available to our community in a time of need.
GOAL: To have the capability to respond, when called upon, to local, state or national incidents with a self supporting, well trained and equipped fire fighting unit.
Red Oak All Hazards Operation Assignments
· Chief Thompson is the Task Force / Strike Team Leader
· Chief Birdwell is credentialed for TIFMAS EOC Operations under AHIMT
· 6 Captains are Task Force / Strike Team members
· 6 Engineers are Task Force / Strike Team members
· 9 Fire Fighters are Task Force / Strike Team members
A total of 24 personnel participate in the Special Operations Task Force.
Red Oak Task Force is a member of TASK FORCE RED. Task Force Red is a group of 11 cities in the North Texas areas that respond to various emergencies supporting the state’s response to hurricanes, wild fires, tornadoes or any other incident that a structural or wildland fire suppression force is needed.
Task Force RED cities:
· Cedar Hill
· Cleburne
· Desoto
· Ferris
· Lancaster
· Mansfield
· Midlothian
· Ovilla
· Red Oak
· Waxahachie
· Duncanville
Task Force Red has the capability to send at any given time a combination of units consisting of the following description:
· Communications
· Command
· Chief Officer(s) with vehicle(s)
· Engine Company(s)
· Brush Truck Company(s)
· Tender(s)
· ALS Ambulance(s)
· Light/Air Truck
· Police
This task force has the opportunity to be the first fire fighting group inserted into an area that has been devastated by natural, accidental or terroristic forces. The area may be totally primitive due to the level of destruction. Therefore, the teams must be self supporting. 
Another function of the task force is to provide fire and rescue protection for a city or area that has lost the capability to provide its own fire service.
A third function is to join other forces fighting wildland fires through the Texas Forest Service.
Red Oak has 6 teams that rotate monthly. The first up team is ready to deploy and leave for their destination within 2 hours of notification. There is a backup team to each first up team. Each team has 5 members with a Strike Team Leader making the 6th member.
The deployed team has the ability, using the Strike Team Leader, to operate 24 hours if needed by splitting into 2 crews. This will reduce the operation time and insure a true rest period. If this option is not needed, the Strike Team Leader and 1 firefighter are able to freely oversee the safety and needs of the team or be assigned to command.
On April 9, 2009, a dry line pushed eastwardly through much of the Central United States and combined with dry fuel conditions and single-digit relative humidity readings to create a devastating situation. In less than eight hours, the State of Texas experienced a major outbreak of wildfires in 12 North Texas
counties. Through the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS), Red Oak Fire Rescue personnel were deployed to assist in control and extinguishment of these very dangerous wildfires. Personnel and equipment departed from Red Oak Fire Rescue Central fire station at 1600 hrs on April 9, 2009 and were on scene within just a couple of hours. Red Oak Fire Rescue personnel were deployed to the Cement Mountain Complex Fire, Young and Jack Counties. Deployment lasted for these personnel until 2100 hrs April 10, 2009; twenty nine hours total. 
Cement Mountain Complex Fire – Young & Jack Counties
The wildfire stretched 18 miles and consumed 28,000 acres. Most of the wildfire burned in Jack County where it threatened the town of Bryson. Multiple fires burned in Jack County throughout the day in addition to the Cement Mountain Complex. The complex was a combination of two fires – the Graham Fire and the Cement Fire. The Graham Fire started east of the Graham Airport south of US 380 and burned toward Cement Road. The Cement Fire started just off Cement Mountain Road south of US 380 and burned east toward the Jack County Line. Nineteen homes and 46 outbuildings were lost.

Recognition plaque from Governor Rick Perry and the late Chief Jack Colley of the Texas Department of Emergency Management is proudly displayed in the hallway of the Red Oak Fire Rescue Fire Administration hallway. It states:

 Red Oak Fire Rescue

 In Recognition of and appreciation for your service and rapid response during the North Texas Wildfires April 9, 2009





Red Oak Fire Rescue was deployed on September 19, 2008 to assist fire departments in South East Texas with recovery efforts due to the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Ike. Members of Red Oak Fire Rescue were stationed in Bridge City, Texas for four weeks. Four individual teams served seven day rotations assisting the Bridge City Fire Department. The crews primary responsibility was to assist the Bridge City Fire Department in covering emergency calls. All members of the Bridge City Fire Department lost their houses and most of their belongings due to the massive storm surge caused by Hurricane Ike. Red Oak Fire Rescue crews spent 3770 hours total assisting Bridge City.

See many pictures in the photo gallery titled "Hurricane Ike".




Bear Creek Wildfire East Texas September 2011
Sep 20, 2011

County Line Fire June 18, 2011
Jun 28, 2011

Task Force RED Downloads
Dec 08, 2010

Task Force RED Org Charts
Dec 08, 2010

Download: Task Force RED Org Chart DEC.10.pdf

Task Force RED Deployment Drill
Dec 08, 2010

Download: Task Force Red Deployment Drill 05.pdf

Page Last Updated: Sep 20, 2011 (09:01:57)
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