The U.S. Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector (RGV) recently established an Incident Management Team, which will work with the Emergency Operation Center during natural disasters or wide-scale emergencies.
The team, comprised of Border Patrol personnel from across the RGV, met last week to participate in table-top exercises aimed at refining best practices.
“The incident management team represents a leap forward for CBP’s (Customs and Border Protection) emergency response capabilities in how we support the community and collaborate with federal, state, and local responders during a disaster,” Martin Chavez, RGV Office of Incident Management operations officer, said.
The center is under the direction of the RGV Office of Incident Management.
The center handles significant incidents that occur within Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. It assists in the coordination of resources being deployed to impacted areas and all CBP assets.
After Hurricane Harvey, the center’s deployment of CBP personnel resulted in the rescue of more than 1,400 people. In June, the center coordinated the rescue of more than 300 people throughout the valley who were stranded because of flooding.
The valley is the busiest corridor along the U.S.-Mexico border for illegal crossings. It also accounts for 45 percent of border arrests.