Texas Forest Service honored for wildfire response
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Texas Forest Service was honored this week with a Government Excellence Award for its response to the devastating Bastrop wildfire.
The award was presented Monday evening at the Government Security News 2011 Homeland Security Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C.
Texas Forest Service, along with Bastrop County Unified Command, Boise National Incident Management Organization Team and Type 1 Southern Area Red Team won the award for most notable emergency response implementation by a federal, state or local entity. The group was recognized for “evacuating homes ahead of the raging wildfires that swept through Central Texas.”
The Bastrop complex of fires ignited on Labor Day weekend, burning more than 34,000 acres and destroying 1,649 homes.
Texas Forest Service, a member of the Texas A&M University System, serves as the incident management agency for state emergencies. The agency works with partners including local government officials and incident management teams from across the country when dealing with a massive disaster like the Bastrop wildfire.
“We’ve had a tragic year in the state of Texas,” said Bob Koenig, Incident Management Team Coordinator with Texas Forest Service. “It’s an honor to serve and be part of a team that protects people’s property and saves lives.”
The Homeland Security awards event also honored companies that have developed innovative security products and forensic analysis software. The first Distinguished Leadership and Innovation for Public Safety and Security Award was presented to retired U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who headed up federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
More information about the awards ceremony can be found on Government Security News Magazine’s website .