By Allan Jamail
At the Leon Grayson Center, hundreds of residents of the area came out to visit their 1st Responders and venders booths to learn and hear about many topics of interest.
Some of the busiest booths visited were from the Harris County Sheriff’s office and the Harris County Emergency Services District No. 12 (HCESD#12).
Attendees visiting the HCESD#12 booth learned how to reach them in case of a fire or a need for an ambulance. The ambulance service is the North Channel Emergency Service and the Fire Department both can be reached by calling 911. When making a 911 call caller needs to answer the WHERE-WHO-WHAT questions. Which is: WHERE is the location of the emergency, WHO you are and a call back number, and WHAT is the nature of the emergency. Pamphlets were provided on many safety concerns from fire prevention, hurricane preparedness, rising flood waters and many more issues.
An Emergency Services District (ESD) is a local government agency created by a vote of the public to provide fire protection and/or emergency medical services (EMS) in specific areas in unincorporated Harris County. There are more than 310 ESDs in Texas, 32 of which are in Harris County. An ESD collects taxes based on appraisals of real and personal property and usually contracts with a service provider. Starting in 2015, some of the Districts began receiving funding from Sales Tax. There are two types of ESDs: one is for fire protection and the other is for emergency medical services (EMS).
The Harris County Sherriff’s office booth educated people on their Project Lifesaver and Project Guardian.
Project Lifesaver is for people who wander. It’s a program for individuals with cognitive disabilities such as autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, or traumatic brain injury who have a history of wandering from home. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office program is collaborating with Project Lifesaver International (PLI), a non-profit that was established in 1999 that locates individuals gone wandering. PLI is widely used throughout the United States.
PLI provides first responders with a basic understanding of cognitive conditions, giving them the necessary tools needed to respond to an elopement and to assess and effectively manage the safe and comfortable return of an eloped client.
The Sheriff’s Project Guardian is a free, voluntary, and confidential database that is offered, managed, and maintained by the Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) for Harris County residents in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Deputies often do not know if individuals they encounter have ASD. Information is key in helping deputies respond safely and effectively. Although all deputies in the HCSO receive training on ASD, it is helpful having personal information on the person with ASD they are interacting with, e.g., triggers to avoid, behaviors to expect, communication tips, etc. Information is also obtained on family members and caregivers in case a deputy needs to contact them. To participate in this program visit: www.harriscountycit.org. At the top of the homepage select the tab “Project Guardian.”
The Harris County Water Control & Improvement District No. 36 (W.C.I.D. No. 36) was one of the most helpful booths to visit. General Manager of the District, Regina Duncan, and her team provided a wealth of helpful information. Pamphlets that explained how to not waste water, to reduce your water bill, were eye-opening to residents. The District operates water and sanitary sewer facilities to serve its residents of Cloverleaf inside the area of zip code 77015. It has 13 employees, 7 in the office, 6 in the field and 5 elected Directors.
“Harris County W.C.I.D. No. 36 mission is to operate the District in a manner that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements. We will maintain the District in a way that protects the public health and ensure the financial stability of the District which benefits our entire community. Our objective is to give the best quality service to all of the respected and appreciated customers of Cloverleaf.”
W.C.I.D. No. 36 participates in the Texas Water Smart Project. To learn how to conserve water, visit www.texaswatersmart.com, and the Take Care of Texas project, a statewide campaign from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, at takecareoftexas.org.
The first responders event was well planned and attended, and the co-coordinators and planners kept everyone interested and safe from both the virus and the heat. Some of the organizers deserving recognition were: Donnie Onnen, Luz Lopez, Paul Lachapelle, Karla Green, Marie Adediran, Pastor Luis Larrinaga, Sgt. Jose Gomez, Deputy Coordinator Ashley Schubert, Deputy N. Powell, Deputy Shirvonti Guidry, and Deputy William Howard. The local Walmart stores gave away the prizes from the drawings.