A water main break in East Houston on Thursday, Feb. 28, led to low water pressure and a boil water order for the City of Houston and the Texas Medical Center (TMC) in the days to follow. With much at stake –from patient care to employee safety – UT Police stood ready to support the needs of both MD Anderson Cancer Center and UTHealth during this emergency situation.
Only a few hours following the water main break, and before the boil water advisory came to be, UT Police leaders assembled in the Special Operations Center (SOC) at UT Police Headquarters where they prepared for any potential issues that may arise.
UT Police Captain Michael Redmond, who has worked in the SOC during hurricanes Rita, Eduardo, Ike and Harvey, was among the UT Police leadership organizing a response. Within the first few minutes of activating emergency procedures, Redmond said that the availability of drinking water for police officers and public safety officers in the field for long durations became a priority.
“The SOC of the police department tries to maintain a global view of emergencies to try and anticipate needs or developments 12-24 hours out while Operations focuses on the routine work,” said Redmond. “This also helps us see where we can contribute on a micro level such as having PSOs check on water supplies and providing safe access to portable toilets in low light areas outside of our buildings.”
While emergency personnel maintain situational awareness of information from the city, county and other TMC partners, Tweets were sent to help keep the community informed.
Redmond said, “Overall, we are here to see how we can help make the institutions successful and ensure our people are safe.”