Texas A&M Forest Service (TFS) maintains an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the agency headquarters in College Station to provide statewide situational awareness and strategic oversight and management of all TFS emergency response activities. The EOC continually monitors fire risk, state and local fire occurrence, and the availability and utilization of firefighting resources, equipment and personnel across the state.
Response personnel are still “on the ground,” while in the EOC, managers direct the incident response by prioritizing resource allocations where they are most needed and collecting and disseminating real-time information back to the incident responders using the high tech capabilities of the EOC.
+ Multiple Wildfires
Wildland fire management is not what it used to be … it is better. Using weather prediction models and accumulated fire fuel data, TFS can mobilize advance prevention teams and pre-position heavy equipment and fire crews to areas of the state where fire risk is greatest, thereby providing rapid initial response and more cost-effective use of resources.
+ Multiple Incidents
The EOC's high tech capabilities allow TFS to manage several different incidents at one time, such as multiple wildfires in West and Southeast Texas and hurricane response on Texas’ Gulf Coast.
+ Other Features
- Satellite communications: Used for incidents where telephone lines and cell phone towers are destroyed, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008.
- Web-based meeting capabilities: Enables command personnel in the EOC and response personnel at the incident to conduct web-based briefings without requiring lengthy and expensive travel to a single location.
- Briefing room: Houses a video conferencing system capable of transporting large data files, connecting TFS to the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, State Operations Center in Austin as well as the Texas DPS Disaster District Centers (DDCs) around the state.