TEXSAR assisted as requested by Caldwell County OEM for a missing person search near Polonia Road on Tuesday November 12, 2013. The person had gone missing during the October 31, 2013 flood event. DPS divers recovered the vehicle on Monday November 11, 2013. Working with Alamo Area SAR and Chisholm Trail VFD, TEXSAR located and recovered the missing person just before noon. The technical water recovery took two hours to complete and all personnel on scene exhibited strong skills.
TEXSAR is appreciative of the continued support of the Texas Division of Emergency Management and all of our partners.
When severe weather moved through the Central Texas region last week, TEXSAR was called upon to help those in need. For 5 straight days our members answered the calls to help their fellow Texans by conducting swiftwater rescues and participating in search and recovery efforts to help bring closure to families that tragically lost loved ones to the floods.
Notable Callouts Included:
- Swiftwater rescue of motorist in Onion Creek flood waters off of I-35 access road.
- Support Hays County EOC swiftwater rescue efforts.
- Supports Galveston’s Crystal Beach VFD on Bolivar Peninsula during Lonestar Motorocycle Rally weekend of 11/1 – 11/3.
- Search and recovery of Josefina and Jay Rodriguez in Onion Creek.
- Search and IMT support for Caldwell County water search for missing woman.
On Friday, November 1, 2013 TEXSAR members participated in multi-agency search and recovery effort along a flooded Onion Creek in Southeast Travis County.
TEXSAR Members at the Onion Creek Search
With crews in the air and on the ground, searchers from TEXSAR, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Game Wardens, Travis County Search and Rescue, APD Search and Rescue, and Alamo Area SAR were able to traverse the treacherous flood zone to locate and recover Josefina Rodriguez and her son Jay Rodriguez ¾ of a mile from where their car was found after it was swept from the road.
TEXSAR would like to thank all agencies involved in this effort and extend our deepest sympathies to the Rodriguez family.
This weekend, TEXSAR members Shawn Hohnstreiter and John Michael Gibbs completed the final processes in gaining apprentice instructor status for vertical rope rescue and flood and swiftwater rescue. The new instructors join TEXSAR member and instructor Mark Baumann as the training cadre for TEXSAR’s vertical rescue team and flood and swiftwater rescue team.
Regarding the achievement, Instructor Hohnstreiter said, “This represents the growth of our search and rescue team and our commitment to the community. We can be sure our technical rescue teams have the highest level of training and the greatest abilities to rescue those in need.”
On Saturday morning, May 19th, TEXSAR team members headed to New Braunfels to participate in a training “play day” with Wesley Meyers of Rescue Training International (RTI). The morning started at a heavily canopied canyon preserve where TEXSAR members, along with members from TMAR and first responders from across Texas, were provided with an overview of Land Search and Rescue Concepts and Lost Person Behavior Patterns. Participants then practiced and refined their line search and echo location skills. Next was basic rappelling that offered enough time for beginners to become comfortable with the seat harness and with locking off and then releasing the rope from the rappel device to ascend. Others, including a few beginners, had fun with inverted rappel techniques. It was then off to the Guadalupe River for demonstrations and practical exercises with throw bags, survival swim, low water crossing and self defense techniques.