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Galveston Marine Response (GMR)

crop GMRequipGalveston Marine Response is multi-agency response group comprised of Galveston Fire Department, Galveston Police Marine Division, Galveston Island Beach Patrol, and Jamaica Beach Fire Rescue, and Galveston EMS which falls under the office of the Galveston Emergency Management. In order to more effectively deal with aquatic emergencies these groups have pooled existing resources and operate under a set of minimum standards for team members along with requirements for initial and re-current training. Response will be geared to a range of water related emergencies from spot flooding and coordinated response to swimming or boating accidents, to hurricane response.

 
PICT0167When deployed, each team will have the ability to work autonomously in groups of 4-5. Team members with higher levels of water skill will be deployed and those with other skill sets will remain on shore as support personnel. During a large scale flooding event, such as a hurricane, GMR will be deployed during the duration of the event and all teams and team members will be able to work independently from their respective agencies. They may work during times when the rest of their agencies employees have already sought shelter. When the GMR is deactivated, team members will be returned to their normal duties.

GMR’s goal is to be able to pull together 6 teams of 4-5 at any time. In order to do this, there would be approximately 50 people who are members of GMR each year. Each team will be comprised of the following elements:

  • Security– one certified person
    • First security person would typically also be the vehicle operator and communications person
  • Medical– EMT-B at a minimum (cannot have dual roles)
    • Normally would stay with the vehicle, unless there’s a severe medical emergency that can only be reached by boat.
  • Boat operator
    • Should stay with the craft if at all possible.
    • Ideally, should work for the same agency that owns the boat.
    • Maintains communication with the communication’s person on shore.
    • Should be Intermediate level at a min
  • Rescue Swimmer
    • Should be certified at the GMR advanced level.
  • Communications/ Vehicle operator
    • Should understand the NIMS system well.
    • Responsible for communication with overall GMR command staff, dispatch, and other GMR teams.
    • Communications and vehicle operations can be the same person.
    • Typically would be the security person for the team.

*Team leader – could fill any role and should be the person with the most experience. Since each team would work pretty autonomously, this person would make the call when to stop rescue activity and decisions for their team in the field. Should be Intermediate or higher so they have full working knowledge of each role.

GMR Levels of qualification

Each year all 50 members of GMR would need to re-qualify and to keep all certification current.

Basic

  • 100m swim without stopping, no time limit/ re-qualify annually
  • 10 minute treading water continuously/ re-qualify annually
  • NIMS 100, 200, 700, 800/ no requalification requirement
  • Basic First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer (8 hrs)/ re-certify CPR annually and re-certify first aid every 3 years
  • Basic Water Rescue plus added course material (8 hrs)/ re-certify annually

Intermediate

  • 300m swim in 10 min or less/re-qualify annually
  • 10 minute treading water continuously/ re-qualify annually
  • NIMS 100, 200, 700, 800/ no re-qualification needed
  • Minimum of Red Cross Emergency Response course (40 hrs)/ re-certify CPR annually and re-certify first aid every 3 years
  • Minimum of Current Swift Water Rescue Operator TEEX course (16 hrs)/ no re-certification
  • Boat handler course/ 8 hours re-qualification annually
  • Basic Water Rescue plus added course material (8 hrs)/ re-certify annually

Advanced

  • 1000m swim in 18 min or less/re-certify annually
  • NIMS 100, 200, 700, 800
  • Min of current certification of EMT-B or higher
  • United States Lifesaving Association-Advanced Aquatic Response Technician or United States Lifesaving Association Lifeguard Cert/ 16 hours of recurrent training annually
  • Swift Water Rescue Technician (32 hours) TEEX/ no re-certification
  • Boat Handler Course/ 8 hours re qualification