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How TEEX is helping others save lives across the country

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service offered training on search & rescue. A Deputy Fire Chief from Pennsylvania was in the course when the call for help came.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — A Pennsylvania Deputy Fire Chief said the skills he learned while taking a TEEX training course were key to finding a vulnerable missing person in his area. 

Deputy Fire Chief Peter Garland, who serves with the Hanover Township Volunteer Fire Company said he had just finished the second day of a three-day training course with TEEX's Wide Area Search class when he got the call for help. An elderly resident had walked away from a senior living facility in his area and could not be found.

Garland said he was then assigned as search team manager and began implementing the skills he had just learned in class that day. He said he segmented the township into areas and assigned personnel to each of those segments. He then identified where the person was last seen and calculated possible distance based on weather conditions and mobility of the missing person.

When a preliminary search did not find the person, the crews worked the map again and within an hour, the missing person was found.

Garland said his training with TEEX was "instrumental" in not only finding the person, but organizing the search and the ability to get people searching immediately in an organized manner.

"The skills I learned during the first portion of the Wide Area Search class were instrumental in ensuring that an effective and efficient search was performed," Garland said. "I further believe that the positive outcome of this search was directly related to the command and control of the operation that was guided by the teachings of the class.”

TEEX offers a wide variety of training for first responders, law enforcement and firefighters. Civilians can also participate in training with TEEX as they offer courses in infrastructure and safety, as well as Stop the Bleed and Cyber Security trainings.