Sep 6, 2010

Hello?

In this posting of the Southeast Texas Political Review, Philip R. Klein wrote (emphasis is mine):
This past week, Jefferson County Texas and its Emergency Management was put to the test. A truck carrying whatever that can kill people flipped over on IH - 10. It landed in the back yard of Hamshire VFD. They rolled and turned the corner on the highway to find the bad stuff leaking. So they called in everyone. Beaumont, Port Arthur, and all towns North and South. And they all came. Including the new million dollar high tech command vehicle from Port Arthur. As it arrived - they set it up and command started - Hamshire had the command and they turned on their radios to talk to everyone and give their assignments and.........well.......nothing.

It seems that the new Jefferson County Command truck - operated by the Port Arthur Fire Department cannot talk to many of the VFD's in Southeast Texas. Shocked by the inability to speak with the command center - a movement has begun to have a meeting with Jefferson County asking the question why each and every paid department can talk to each other through funds given to them by Jefferson County - but the VFD's have been left out.

"It wasn't good. They tried the new patch in system and it just didn't work. It is not designed to do that. We are still using the low band 154 frequency - but they could not patch us through. It was very embarrassing to have all of this million dollar pieces of equipment but we could not talk to each other. It was a problem," said one local volunteer to the Review over the weekend.
The scenario that Klein described never happened. Furthermore, the mobile incident command center belongs to the Port Arthur Fire and Police Departments, not Jefferson County as Klein claims.  Lastly, communications between agencies was not an issue at all. Klein's "take" shows that again, he's clueless about the real issues:
Jefferson County Emergency Management needs to fix it. And they need to fix it now. No more money to anyone until the radio thing is fixed. There is no excuse that the VFD's were left out of all of the upgrades to the radio systems. Fix it - rather than standing there talking into a radio that nobody can hear you......hellllllooooo? It is kind of basic? Right?
Wrong. Communications between agencies is a shared function of federal, state, and local government. This is evident from the list of agencies who responded, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety:
The Texas Department of Public Safety, The Texas Department of Transportation, Jefferson County Emergency Management, U.S. Environmental Services, Hamshire Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Departments from Port Arthur, Groves, and Orange, the Red Cross and a coalition of private sector and non-governmental organizations responded to this incident and worked in partnership to clean-up the hazardous material spill as quickly and safely as possible.
Specifically regarding this issue of communications between agencies, Governor Perry instituted the Texas Radio Communications Interoperability Plan:
One of Governor Perry’s top 2005 Homeland Security objectives is to achieve Level-4 radio interoperability within the first responder community throughout Texas. The Texas Radio Communications Interoperability Plan serves as a high level roadmap to achieve this objective. State wide Level-4 attainment, simply put, is when fire fighters, emergency medical responders, police officers, deputy sheriffs and state troopers can go anywhere in the state and have immediate radio communications with each other using their own equipment on designated channels.
You can read the most current version of the plan here from the Texas Department of Public Safety, but the bottom line here is that Jefferson County does not control communications of local volunteer fire departments.

Philip R. Klein is exploiting a potential disaster to further his own personal agenda. According to the website of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts:

Entity Information: NEDERLAND VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT, INC.
PO BOX 686
NEDERLAND, TX 77627-0686
Registered Agent: PHILIP KLEIN
1404 BOSTON AVE
NEDERLAND, TX 77627

Regardless of Klein's criticism, the Hamshire Volunteer Fire Department did an amazing job as lead agency. Congratulations to all involved. Last Friday, Philip referenced this incident in his Nitwit Tidbits with this claim (emphasis is Philip's):
Biggest Hazmat Incident In The History Of Jefferson County  
Putting this into perspective, an 18-wheeler carrying isobutane rolled over on I-10 and released some of the gas. No injuries were reported due to the quick action by the Hamshire VFD.

However, this incident doesn't compare to the 1974 explosion at the Goodyear Plant, where flames reached 600 feet in the air. As a carpetbagger to Southeast Texas, Philip needs to read up on his local history:
  • January 1924: Texas Co. in Port Arthur, explosion and fire, nine dead
  • November 1952: Pure Oil Co. in Nederland, fire, seven dead and several others injured
  • November 1974: Goodyear plant, explosion, 10 injured
  • March 17, 1977: Texaco in Port Arthur, explosion, seven dead and two dozen serious injuries
  • April 1981: Independent Refining Corp. near Winnie, one dead and one injured
  • April 14, 2003: Motiva Enterprises in Port Arthur, refinery shutdown, flaring, no injuries.
  • April 14, 2003: Huntsman Corp. in Port Arthur, flaring from Motiva shutdown, no injuries.
There are more, but these are ample evidence that Klein is manufacturing facts again to support his own agenda.

10 comments :

Anonymous said...

Klein was busy with his own disaster response. The winnie isobutane spill didn't have enough photo ops.

Anonymous said...

Imagine that, Philip Klein is lying again.

Anonymous said...

Again, Klein doesn't have a clue. Clearly evident by the Newspaper and TV coverage, the scene was a half mile area and a source of a source was sure that everyone worked off of the Hamshire radio system. As usual Klein blames everything on Jefferson County. The grant funds are administered through Regional planning and the Coastguard the the County has nothing to do with it....

Anonymous said...

Get educated, isobutane is only 2 parts of pie r square on the safe factor, you can bath in it.

Anonymous said...

PRK said, "A truck carrying whatever"...After four days of news coverage, anyone paying attention should know "A truck carrying Isobutane." A low-tech website with bad spelling and little knowledge of the subject.

Anonymous said...

The best communication system in the world is useless if a certain publicity seeker grabs a mike and starts spouting uninformed, inaccurate gibberish.

Anonymous said...

154 mhz is VHF band (very high freq.)not low band. Klein wrong again.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that, once again, when good folks have come together to do a good job, Klein only seems to see the negative. Klein, ever think of saying "good job everyone" as opposed to your normal negative rhetoric?

Anonymous said...

The "communications problem" comes from the SETPR, not the HVFD. Kleinio is broadcasting on a frequency that only other nut jobs can hear.

Anonymous said...

Klein had to work hard at confusing that command vehicle with a county vehicle. It says "CITY OF PORT ARTHUR UNIFIED COMMAND" in three-foot letters.