April 20, 2013 – WEST, Texas – Firefighters and apparatus from Waxahachie Fire Rescue, Cedar Hill Fire Department and Red Oak Fire Rescue were mobilized Friday afternoon to assist with emergency response in West, Texas, following the massive fertilizer plant explosion earlier this week.
The resources were mobilized through the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) administered by Texas A&M Forest Service. Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced the activation at a press conference Friday.
Twelve firefighters from the three municipal departments arrived in West late Friday afternoon with a command vehicle, two fire engines and a heavy rescue vehicle. They will be tasked with covering shifts for the West Volunteer Fire Department and assisting with rescue operations.
The firefighters will supplement numerous other resources already on site in West – including a regional incident management team and a team of personnel from Texas A&M Forest Service.
The TIFMAS program was created in the 2009 Legislature and is a collaborative effort of the Texas Fire Chiefs Association, State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association, Texas State Association of Fire Fighters, Texas Commission on Fire Protection and Texas A&M Forest Service.
The program offers training, equipment and vehicle grants, credentialing standards and mobilization systems to make statewide use of local resources. Since its inception, TIFMAS has mobilized both resources and personnel for Hurricanes Ike and Alex and numerous wildfire responses in 2009 and 2011.