Deep East Texas Regional Advisory Council

Trauma Service Area - H

300 East Shepherd, Suite 154
Lufkin City Hall
Lufkin, TX 75901


Download the Operation Morning Star Executive Summary

Recent Events

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Deep East Texas Regional Advisory Council in conjunction with Sheriff Bryan Weatherford and the Tyler County Sheriff‘s Department was able to provide an Incident Response Command Center at the 2015 Tyler County Fair. An asset that is available if the need arises. Texas being prepared for its citizens!

2015 Tyler County Fair

The RAC Meetings held on November 13, 2013 were well attended. EMS Continuing Education was provided along with the issuance of handheld radios to participating hospitals. Radio training class was provided by DFW Communications. Lori Upton and Jonathan Vance from SETRAC gave an update on the status of the North Corridor Coalition. Oxygen Carts and oxygen cylinders were issued to first responders and hospitals. Please plan to join us at the next meeting.

5th Annual Preparedness Coalition Symposium October 16-18th Galveston Island Convention Center













DETRAC Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital Pavillion

July 10, 2013



First Trauma Nursing Core Course sponsored by DETRAC  

June 28 -29, 2013








Mission: “Operation Morning Star” – May 4, 2013


Deep East Texas Regional Advisory Council (DETRAC), Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC), & Emergency Medical Task Force – 6


On the morning of May 2, 2013, Sondra Wilson, Vice-Chair for the Deep East Texas Regional Advisory Council (DETRAC) and Tyler County Hospital Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), began communications with Darrell Pile, CEO of the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC), regarding the possibility of needing assistance on Saturday, May 4, 2013, in the event that Woodville native Kree Harrison advanced into the top three on American Idol. Scott Christopher, DETRAC Chair as well as Byron Stowe, DETRAC Treasurer, Dogwood EMS Owner, and Woodville City Councilman were included in the initial communication. While DETRAC, Tyler County Hospital, and Tyler County law enforcement and EMS are experienced in handling crowds up to 6,000 this event held the possibility of an excess of 10,000 people. Therefore, it was agreed that additional resources may be needed in the Woodville area if Kree did advance. Darrell Pile responded to the communication willingly offering the assistance of SETRAC/EMTF-6 resources including a small command/communication trailer, medical station and additional ambulances. It was on this same day that Mission Operation Morning Star was created. Tyler County Emergency Manager, Dale Freeman was notified by Sondra Wilson of the mission and plans. He then notified the Disaster District Committee (DDC). Early on it was the goal of DETRAC to be prepared for whatever the event may bring.

After receiving confirmation that Kree had made it into the top three and would be returning to Woodville on Saturday, details for Mission “Operation Morning Star” were put into motion. Emergency Management Task Force (EMTF) – 6 would be deployed to the Woodville area on Saturday morning led by Lori Upton, RN and Disaster Preparedness Director from SETRAC. This would include four ambulances, a small communications/command trailer with attached four bed first aid station, supplies, cots, and radios as well as aid tent staffing to include three paramedics and one RN, command staff, and tracking system if necessary. Air Rescue based out of Beaumont, Texas agreed to be on stand-by at Tyler County Hospital for emergencies that required higher levels of care.

At 0730 on the morning of May 4, 2013 the EMTF-6 crew and resources arrived at Tyler County Hospital. A briefing was held in the conference room of the hospital to review the itinerary for the day and make assignments. It was known at this time that a press conference would take place at 8:00 a.m., followed by a parade at 10:00 a.m., rodeo appearance at 1:30 p.m. and a concert at Ford Arena in Beaumont, Texas at 5:00 p.m. After consulting with Woodville city manager Mandy Risinger, it was decided that the medical tent would be set-up down town during the parade and then be moved to the rodeo arena for that event. Along with the medical tent, three of the five ambulances present would be based at these locations. The remaining two ambulances would be based at Tyler County Hospital. This would allow Dogwood EMS to run their normal 911 traffic. Additionally, Air Rescue would be based at Tyler County Hospital along with two hospital employee’s who would communicate with command on the status of the hospital. Communication radios were dispersed to personnel to ensure clear and concise communication.

After the briefing, workers dispersed to their assigned areas with the medical tent and crew arriving down- town at approximately 8:30 a.m. to begin set-up. It took 30 minutes to set-up the communication trailer and the attached medical tent.

The Incident Command System was used to integrate all resources and personnel. This system allowed for common understanding of the event as well as fluent response, communication, and organization.

The Incident Commander for Mission Operation Morning Star was Byron Stowe from Dogwood EMS. The Deputy Incident Commander was Sondra Wilson with Lori Upton being responsible for the medical operations. Scott Christopher oversaw logistics, Jimmy Blanchard, Communication leader, was over planning, and Chris Collier, EMS and task force leader was in charge of EMS.

Another key component in Mission “Operation Morning Star” was Tyler County law enforcement. This began with early communication with Sondra Wilson regarding the health and safety of the community. Sheriff Weatherford and Woodville City Police Chief Scott Yosko along with city and county officers cleared the roads so that the medical team could get to the staging areas and set-up. Terry Riley, reserved deputy, being familiar with the rodeo grounds, made suggestion on the best place for medical set-up. Corporal Michael Williams provided the out-of-town ambulance crews with 911 address books and maps.

The morning event was successful with only one victim being seen by the medical team and being transported to Tyler County Hospital by private car. The communication set-up allowed Tyler County Hospital to be aware of an incoming injury and to prepare for the individual. After the conclusion of the parade the medical, command, and communication team was able to disassemble the medical tent in 15 minutes.

With law enforcements help, the team relocated to the rodeo arena where the medical tent was once again set-up, this time taking only 20 minutes to be fully operational. There were two ambulances located within the rodeo grounds to assist the medical team. Additionally, the remaining ambulances as well as Air Rescue were staged at the airport just across the road.

The rodeo event lasted a few hours without incident. At the conclusion of the rodeo, the medical tent was once again disassembled effortlessly and the team departed at approximately 3:30 p.m.

It is the belief of the DETRAC, SETRAC, EMTF-6, and Tyler County Law Enforcement and EMS that this event proved successful in that it allowed opportunities for team building. The mission gave those involved a chance to see the available resources, to identify them, and to become knowledgeable in how they can be used. Additionally, relationships were built between DETRAC and SETRAC that will prove beneficial in the future.


Executive Summary Prepared by: Janay Gilbert, CRT, ASAH, BSHA


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