State required training be complete by Jan.

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Jim Wells County officials said on Wednesday they have just completed their mandated training in the National Incident Management System (NIMS), as mandated by the state of Texas.

The system, which is a requirement of all government entities, details the command structure and the actions that should be taken when a crisis does occur.

Several members of county government, emergency service personnel, road and bridge crews and law enforcement officers were responsible for training in these areas of emergency response by mid-January.

Officers in the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department are currently in the final stages of completing their NIMS training.

Jim Wells County Safety Officer Israel Lopez said county officials and R&B crews have completed the necessary training, but that more training will likely be required beginning next year, as the regulations regarding NIMS are always being upgraded to better serve the community.

Lopez said county emergency personnel just finished three days of Weapons of Mass Destruction training last week in Robstown, as part of their NIMS training.

Also, safety officers from Austin ran a yearly safety audit Wednesday at the JWC Courthouse, and found the Road and Bridge crews to be in compliance with state safety regulations, Lopez said.

During times of emergency in Jim Wells County, the Emergency Operations Center is made up of County Judge L. Arnoldo Saenz, Commissioner Oswald Alanis and Safety Officers Florentino Rivera and Lopez, among others. As a part of their mandatory training, the group took part in several NIMS courses.

Lopez said a blood-borne pathogens class will take place this week for county officials, followed by a CPR training course next week for law enforcement officers at the fairgrounds. Lopez said the county will continue to stay on top of training, to ensure their preparedness should an incident occur.

"We have the training so that all the entities are on the same page and work under the same rules and guidelines. Hopefully, we'll never have to use it," Lopez said.