Millions worth of emergency equipment for valley

Over $3 million worth of new equipment, from brush trucks, diving equipment and medical tents, assembled Wednesday in Harlingen.

They belong to emergency responders across the Rio Grande Valley.

Event organizers said it TMs an opportunity for emergency responders to evaluate and study the resources available in case of a disaster in the area.

"This is the first time that we deployed it, and actually put it all together," Tom Hushen, Trauma Regional Advisory Council director said. "We need to be prepared here in the Rio Grande Valley, because for instance, after the strike of a major hurricane, relief doesn TMt come from the state and federal government immediately We have to be able to take care of ourselves."

In case of a major disaster, Hushen said tents will serve as full-fledge hospitals, serving up to 16 patients per wing and kiddy pools will be used to hose-down people exposed to anything toxic.

Hushen said although it's something people don't want to think about, one of the newest pieces of equipment is a morgue trailer.

"Because a lot of people don TMt understand that|if we do have a mass incident, we do have a lot of casualties - we do have a lot of people that have passed away - where do those bodies go? Hushen said. So what we actually have, are morgue trailers now where we can actually store bodies."

Special guest at the event was Chief Nim Kidd of the Texas Division of Emergency Management of the Governor's Office.

Kidd said the meeting was crucial because the worst thing emergency responders can do, is show up to a disaster and not know the people they're working with.

"Some of the strengths in the Valley, are the cooperation and the willingness to work together of the first responders and the people here, Kidd said. I mean, you can look around, and see dozens of different patches from different jurisdictions and different areas, all acting like one team and one family and that's truly a blessing to the area."