TEXSAR: Texas Search and Rescue Annual Report 2015 January 18, 2016
Table of Contents
2015 in Review Shawn Hohnstreiter, Chair | Justen R. Noakes, CEO | Board of Directors
Mission Statement | Core Values
Board of Directors
Deployments | Statistics
Partner Agencies | Organizations
TEXSAR Canine Team Members
2015 in Review Shawn Hohnstreiter, Chair | Justen R. Noakes, CEO | Board of Directors
2015 has been a tremendous year of growth for Texas Search and Rescue. We are grateful for an amazing team of dedicated member-volunteers who continue to grow in number and capabilities. TEXSARâ€™s team training meetings are overflowing with new member prospects eager to learn about the organization and how they can give back to their communities. Our training meetings and events often have waiting lists, and we are developing new capabilities to meet the needs of our partner agencies and organizations. TEXSAR's balance sheet is strong. We are working daily to ensure a strong financial future. We are blessed with caring and capable team members who are the heart and soul of TEXSAR. Their commitment to the team and our communities is what makes TEXSAR successful. The Memorial Day 2015 Floods were life-changing and tragic events that remain fresh in our minds. We continue to receive calls and email about the two lost children, Will Charba and Leighton McComb. We continue to pray for their return home. As survivor Jonathan McComb said, â€œOut of this horrible tragedy, good things have happened." That could not be more true than for TEXSAR. During the floods and the search efforts that followed, TEXSAR members provided in-kind services valued in excess of one hundred thousand dollars searching for those who were lost and stranded. In fact, 37 people were rescued by boat during the Memorial Day flooding events alone. In total, 52 people were rescued by TEXSAR during 2015. The increased need for TEXSAR's support during 2015 did not go unnoticed. We have received an outpouring of support in monetary and equipment donations, as well as in thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes. This has been a truly humbling year, one we will never forget. -1-
A milestone donation to TEXSAR was made this year by entertainer Jimmy Buffett following a last-minute benefit concert at Stubbs BBQ in May. As CultureMap Austin recalled, "After opening with hit 'License To Chill,' Buffett discussed Monday's flooding and mentioned that the band had decided to leave the night's ticket proceeds (likely around $200,000) in the hands of Austin charities to help with flood recovery." TEXSAR was honored to receive a hefty portion of the proceeds. That gift has changed TEXSAR in important new ways that we have outlined in this report. On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire TEXSAR team, we cannot thank our supporters enough for their generous outpouring of support. Likewise, we cannot thank our member-volunteers enough. They have responded bravely and quickly to calls for help. TEXSAR and the communities we serve remain deeply grateful.
Mission Statement | Core Values “Committing to service-above-self, perpetual training, and inter-agency cooperation to maintain a constant state of readiness for search, rescue, incident response and above all else, safety.” Core values:
Integrity and Responsibility
TEXSAR is founded on ethical behavior and values by our members and partners and our commitment extends throughout the organization as we interact with agencies, the public, and one another.
We emphasize fiscal accountability by ensuring that all expenditures directly or indirectly reflect the trust placed in TEXSAR by its donors and grant providers.
We maintain an environment of mutual respect founded on open, honest communication. We embrace the diversity of our team and individual perspectives in working together to achieve our common goals.
We achieve excellence through constant training and preparation as our members continually exercise their skills using the materials and equipment required to deliver the highest quality services possible in any environment.
TEXSAR will train and prepare to provide professional level skills and support to requesting agencies and communities. TEXSAR will act as a Volunteer Organization Active in Disasters in both the response and recovery phases of disasters and incidents.
We will deliver service that meets or exceeds the requested assistance while ensuring the safety and well-being of our members and partners.
Board of Directors TEXSAR wishes to thank the following Board members for their service during 2015.
Shawn Hohnstreiter, Hohnstreiter Construction and Remodeling – Chair Justen R. Noakes, H-E-B Emergency Preparedness - CEO Brandon Goering, REAL-COMP Data and Marketing – Vice Chair Chief Sean Ford, Sunset Valley Policy Department Dr. Tyler Jorgensen, Board Certified Emergency Physician Jeffrey M. Turk, Formaspace Ben Alexander, K9 Branch Director (Advisory Board) Bryan Sky-Eagle, Attorney at Law (Advisory Board) Joe Hillis, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (Advisory Board)
TEXSAR also wishes to thank General Charlie Miller, Gene Jorgensen and Robert Spratt who served on the Board for a short time during 2015. In December, 2015, TEXSAR member volunteers elected the following individuals to the Board of Directors for 2016 (one year terms).
Shawn Hohnstreiter, Hohnstreiter Construction and Remodeling – Chair Chief Sean Ford, Sunset Valley Policy Department – Vice Chair Justen R. Noakes, H-E-B Emergency Preparedness - CEO Jennifer Failla, Strada Wealth Management – Treasurer Michelle Nations, Community Volunteer – Secretary Brandon Goering, REAL-COMP Data and Marketing -4-
Dr. Tyler Jorgensen, Board Certified Emergency Physician Dawn Keller, Health, Slingshot Inc. and West Texas Team Leader Ed Norman, Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management - Community Preparedness Planning Coordinator Bill Sleep, Commitment to Coaching Inc. Ex-officio Board members include Greg Fair, North Texas Team Leader and Laura Norman, Gulf Coast Team Leader.
Deployments | Statistics TEXSAR: Texas Search and Rescue has been a significant leader in disaster response and recovery for more than a decade. TEXSAR serves all citizens of Texas and may only be deployed by the Governor; local, state and federal law enforcement; and relief agencies. We are proud to share the following statistics regarding our work during 2015. New members who joined in 2015: 99 Years of combined experience (active days with TEXSAR) in 2015: 361 years People rescued: 52 (5 recoveries in which loved ones were returned to their families) The value of one volunteer hour in the State of Texas is $24.66. We estimate TEXSAR member volunteers gave approximately 20,850 hours of service to the citizens of the State of Texas during 2015, for a total estimated value of $514,161.
TEXSAR was successful in 2015 in part because member-volunteers loaned equipment for TEXSAR’s use. We estimate the value of this loaned equipment to be: $100,000.
Missing Austin Man January 14 | Austin
Galveston County 4th of July Weekend July 3-5 | Crystal Beach
Gillespie County Search January 18 | Harper
Graham Search August 5 | Graham
Lake Travis Recovery Search January 21 | Pace Bend
Lufkin Search August 18 | Lufkin
La Grange Search January 25 | La Grange
Central Texas Flood Blanco River Search August 22 | Hays and Caldwell Counties
Missing Woman Search January 31, February 2, 6, 7 | Spicewood
Galveston County Labor Day Weekend September 5-7 | Crystal Beach
Red Rock Search February 27 | Red Rock
Merkel Search September 24-26 | Merkel
Rockwall Search March 9 | Rockwall
Wood County Search October 17 | Wood County
Lake Medina Search May 9, 15 | Bandera County
Central Texas Flooding Rescues October 30 | Caldwell County
Galveston County Memorial Day Weekend | Frog Fest May 22-24 | Crystal Beach
Central Texas Flooding Support October 30 | Sunset Valley
Memorial Day Flooding Rescues May 24 | Martindale Memorial Day Flooding Search May 26-31 | Blanco County Memorial Day Flooding Search June 6-7, 13-14, 20-21 | Hays and Caldwell Counties
Del Valle Flood Recovery October 31 | Del Valle Onion Creek Flood Relief November 4-6 | Austin Memorial Weekend Flood Search (continued) November 21 | Hays and Caldwell Counties
Training Highlights TEXSAR member-volunteers were offered ongoing training opportunities throughout the year. Membership meetings are held in conjunction with basic training on subjects such as field medical procedures and members must attend at minimum of 50% of these sessions to be considered for deployments. In addition, TEXSAR offers certification workshops for members in different disciplines such as Mantracking and Swiftwater Rescue. These certification courses are paid for by the member-volunteers themselves. Members live across the state from North Texas (Dallas based) to Central Texas (Austin based), from West Texas (Odessa based) to the Gulf (Galveston based), and soon we will have a South Texas team (Corpus Christi based). TEXSAR is the largest wildland search and rescue organization in the State of Texas and it is growing fast. TEXSAR Training
Major Training Certifications (2 days in duration or more) Flood and Swiftwater Rescue Ground Search and Rescue Mantracking Rescue Boat Operator -7-
Vertical Response Wilderness First Aid Wildland Fire Medical Training
Anaphylactic shock Blood Borne Pathogens CPR Hypothermia/Hyperthermia Orthopedic Injuries Patient Packaging
All Purpose Training
Child Advocacy Communications Evidence Collection Fitness and Fitness Pack Test Haz Mat Hydrology Incident Management Team and Incident Command
Land Navigation and Maps Ropes and Knots Safety Snakes, Spiders and Critters Swiftwater Bank Support Witness Interviews
In addition, TEXSAR member volunteers participated in FEMA self-paced training programs and more. Training Venues TEXSAR wishes to thank Sunset Valley City Hall, Camp Mabry, First United Church of Coppell, and Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management for allowing TEXSAR to hold meetings and training sessions in their facilities. TEXSAR’s ultimate goal is to have its own training facility and equipment storage facility, combined in one building. The search for a proper facility is in progress.
Administration TEXSAR received several generous financial and in-kind equipment donations that made 2015 a milestone for the organization. But standing above the rest was a grant from Mr. Jimmy Buffett in May, 2015. We understand Mr. Buffett realized how instrumental TEXSAR had been during the Central Texas flooding events that month, and he wanted the organization to put down roots and expand its life saving work. That gift, along with contributions from others, enabled TEXSAR to hire an experienced nonprofit executive, Carolyn M. Appleton, CFRE, to help develop the organization's infrastructure, and to hire its first paid employee, Karen H. Knox. Highlights are as follows.
After a lengthy employee search that revealed many outstanding candidates, TEXSAR hired its first part-time, paid employee in November, Executive Director Karen H. Knox. Until 2015, TEXSAR operated entirely voluntarily, both from the standpoint of its daily administrative duties and its volunteer search and rescue activities. We are honored to have Karen guiding us as TEXSAR moves into a new phase of expansion and greater service to all Texans. o
Karen has more than three decades of development, fundraising, volunteer and event management experience with nonprofit organizations, associations and volunteer organizations. Karen has worked with A Legacy of Giving, Texas Historical Commission, Special Olympics Texas, Texas Chemical Council, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Corpus Christi, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She is also a CMP (Certified Meeting Professional). Karen is a member of Austin CERT Deployment Team Alpha: Community Emergency Response Team (FEMA).
With more charitable donations and financial activity to monitor, accounting and
tax filing has assumed greater importance for TEXSAR. Montemayor Hill & Company, PC of Austin was hired in fall, 2015. The firm will prepare TEXSAR’s first full tax return in early 2016. To date, TEXSAR has filed only the most basic tax returns because it has operated almost entirely voluntarily.
To ensure the public knows TEXSAR is committed handling charitable donations
and running the organization as professionally as possible, we established our presence on GuideStar, the nation’s largest repository of information about nonprofit organizations. By sharing comprehensive information to ensure TEXSAR’s commitment to public transparency, we attained the coveted gold seal in September, 2015. TEXSAR also established a profile on GreatNonprofits, a partner website of GuideStar. There we have solicited organizational reviews by volunteers and the public. It is hoped in the months and years ahead, more people will share their testimonials. As Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft notes, “GreatNonprofits focuses on helping people make great giving decisions through socially sourced feedback and reviews.” TEXSAR committed itself to communicating more regularly with the public and its
supporters via e-newsletters and informational emails. Using iContact, we designed and distributed several e-newsletters and e-notification to an evergrowing list of supporters. Links to each newsletter may be found on the TEXSAR website. Our email list continued to grow during 2015. The website continues to evolve. New pages focus on the biographies of the TEXSAR Board of Directors; TEXSAR's mission statement and core values; and media coverage stretching back since 2012, with links to media websites and the original stories. We fine-tuned TEXSAR’s donation page to add more giving options, including planned giving. A new page for TEXSAR publications was added to the Media Room section of the website, with links to our suite of iContact enewsletters. Last but not least, the website was fine-tuned for mobile viewing. Additional improvements will continue into 2016.
With no staff prior to November, 2015 - but several important new donations - we
composed, mailed and emailed formal acknowledgement letters and notes to more than 100 contributors. Donor stewardship is critically important, and TEXSAR intends to maintain strong relationships with every donor for the long-term. With an eye to future years and increased interest in online giving, TEXSAR
registered for two annual giving days, #GivingTuesday (national) and Amplify Austin (Central Texas). Profiles were created for TEXSAR on both platforms, making implementation of campaigns easier going forward. TEXSAR’s existing online donation platform, GoFundMe, was fine-tuned and regular project updates were posted during the fall. TEXSAR was honored U.S. Congressman Michael T. McCaul, Chair of the House
Committee on Homeland Security, agreed to speak during a TEXSAR luncheon event in November. Regrettably, the threat of flooding at this same time caused TEXSAR to postpone the event. In anticipation of this and future public events, we established an Eventbrite account for ease of registration, payment and event management; and we also created two portable promotional banners for displaying at events statewide. In December, Google agreed to work with TEXSAR on a half-day search and rescue
"tech" event at Google Fiber Space in April, 2016. TEXSAR uses a variety of Google apps in its work, and we hope to have Google engineers present to discuss current and future applications to TEXSAR's work. TEXSAR's future depends on identifying and securing financial support from
current and new individual, corporate, foundation and other contributors. Extensive prospect research began in the fall. Grant proposals principally for equipment valued at a combined, estimated total of $500,000 were prepared, submitted and/or scheduled. We await responses in 2016. Meetings with potential donors were also requested, and will continue to move forward with meetings and new partnerships in 2016. TEXSAR's social media platforms – principally Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn –
were updated. Twitter, formerly an adjunct of Facebook, became a freestanding platform and more actively managed. TEXSAR's following on all platforms continued to grow in 2015.
Financial Position TEXSAR ended 2015 in healthy financial standing. Due to unprecedented monetary donations received from individuals, families, foundations and corporations, TEXSAR met all financial obligations and maintained strong working capital. TEXSAR maintains three bank accounts at Wells Fargo. Balances ending 2014 were as follows: checking account ($7,679.95); savings account ($10,300.77); and deployment account ($2,000.00). Balances ending 2015 were as follows: checking account ($15,753.99); savings account ($92,930.25); and deployment account ($10,000.00). In summary, at yearend 2014 our combined banking account balance was $19,980.72. At year-end 2015 our combined banking account balance was $118,684.24. At year-end 2015, TEXSAR estimates the value of its equipment inventory to be $204,000. In fall, 2015, TEXSAR hired a professional accounting firm to prepare and file its first substantive tax return, Montemayor Hill & Company, PC. The firm will provide a formal financial statement (qualified opinion), which will also be made available to the public via TEXSARâ€™s GuideStar profile in 2016.
TEXSAR Donors TEXSAR wishes to thank the following generous contributors from 2013 through 2015. Those marked with an asterisk (*) provided in-kind contributions. Texas Search and Rescue also wishes to thank those donors who have asked to remain anonymous.
ďƒ” $10,000 and Larger Jimmy Buffett Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Mercury Marine* Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Cruising Kitchens* Shawn Hohnstreiter* Jeffrey M. Turk*
$5,000 to $9,999 H-E-B
$1,000 to $4,999 IBM Richard Belliveau Charity League of Corpus Christi eBay Foundation Corporate Advised Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation Gilmass Jamuley LLC Eugene Jorgensen Reid Enterprises Deberah Cain Kathryn Harris Patti and Randy Riggs Bill Sleep* Susan Turk in memory of Ralph and Sue McNeil Carey, Randy and Michelle Carey Charba, and Will Charba; Laura Schultz McComb, Jonathan Andrew McComb, and Leighton Elizabeth McComb, and in honor Jeffrey Matthew Turk The University of Texas McCombs School of Business
ďƒ” $200 to $999 Troy Hawks
Kenny and Lisa Troutt
David Unger | Marathon Petroleum Volunteer Incentive Program
Salesforce.com Foundation Barley Swine
Encana Cares Foundation | Troy Nelson
Teri and Kevin Beckrickson
Michelle Covey Havard
Suzanne and David Johnson
Neil and Sandra DeFeo Foundation
Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)*
Louisa and Joseph Harwood
Tomâ€™s Dive Shop
ďƒ” $100-$999 Retrovore, LLC
Maudie's Too, L.P.
CGA Law Firm
CWS Apartment Homes LLC
Gregory L. Pyles
Mike and Flo Adams
Carolyn M. Appleton
Jennifer and Scott Saltsman
Dodie and Larry Cashell
Reynold F. Stelloh III
Renee McCurdy Fensholt
Nancy and Jamie Weeks
Harold and Beth Hahn
Aquarius Pools of Austin
Nancy and J.R. [sic]
Patti and Randy Kotara
Shefman Law Group
John A. Legge
Toni Schmid Stevenson
Partner Agencies and Organizations TEXSAR wishes to thank the following organizations for their partnership during 2015. Caldwell County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management City of Austin Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) through City of Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) City of Austin Police Department City of Sunset Valley Galveston County Office of Emergency Management Hays County Office of Emergency Management Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Texas A&M Forest Service Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Travis County Sheriff’s Office U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service TEXSAR also maintained memberships with the following during 2015. Capital Area Council of Governments State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
TEXSAR Member Volunteers To the following individuals we owe a debt of gratitude.
Aaron Franklin Adam Crispin Al Benson Alan Huddleston Alex Hutton Alex Perotti Allen Robinson III Amanda O'Malley Amy Thomas Andy Anthony Anthony Scopel Arnold Steed Ben Alexander Bill Sleep Blake Gouge Blake Guidry Bo Wingo Aaron Franklin Adam Crispin
Bobby Macpherson Brad Garman Brad Gwatney Bradley DeRoo Brandon Goering Brian Kassa Brian Morton Brian Sailors Brianna Acevedo Bryan Bible Bryan Blakely Bryan Henson Bryan Musolino Bryan Poe Bryan Sky-Eagle Cameron MacGregor Carine Chalfoun Carol Wilson Cedric Verdier
Chance Berry Charlie Grove Chris GarbeChris Scharff Christi Adams Christopher Minckler Christopher Thompson Clay Cobb Clayton Aldrich Connor Byer Courtney Brown Courtney Crawford Craig Trimble Dalan Janysek Danny Harris David Unger Dawn Keller Dawn Labosco Dawn McGee Deanna Worden
Debbie Rich Derek Georg Derek Moreland Diane Morrow Don Dougherty Don Gentry Donis Rhoden Doretta Jenison Doris Clark Doug Bradshaw Doug Haggard Douglas Snyder Dustan Jesko Easton Haslam Ed Norman Edward Ingram Eric Nagel Fernando Moreira Floyd Davis Frank Rich Frankie Hefley Ginger Locke-Floyd Donis Rhoden Doretta Jenison Doris Clark Doug Bradshaw Grant Taylor Greg Fair Greg Robinson Greg Roseberry Heather Garman Hector Padilla Jackie Dobson Jackie Ogden Jake Ragusa Jake Saunders James Dodson Jamie Hatcher Jamie Leigh-Powell Jamine Doty Jan Stalder Jason Kihlberg Jason Pierce Jason Samp Debbie Rich Derek Georg
Jason Webb Jay Hoffman Jeb Kaffaga Jeff Turk Jeffrey Stalder Jennifer Blanton Kiersten Legge Kimberly Morgan Kirk Stolzenburg Krystal Stalder Lance Singleton Laura Norman Leroy Brown Lin Avey Lisa Reyes Lucas Leishear Lynn May Lynn Stender Marcus Gellner Mark Baumann Mark Huff Mark Mitchell Mark Richardson Meg Hinkley Megan Whitley Melissa Frederick Michael Bradley Michael Brown Michael Redditt Michelle Acevedo Michelle Nations Mike Pennington Misty Cobb Misty McClellan Neil Summer Niki Bender Noel Lee Pam Simek Paul Hinkley Penny Goering Phree-Ranier Phillips Quinn Meredith Rachel Lindsay Rachel Ralston Ralph Munoz
Ram Torres Randy Collins Rebekah Napieralski Renee Hollie-Thigpen Richard Belliveau Richard Ryle Rick Van Hoozer Rob Naylor Robert Harris Roberta Riley Rolan Rast Ryan Byrd Scott Brammer Sean Jones Shane Foster Shannon Sharp Shawn Hohnstreiter Shawn Tracy Sheila Dolbow Stela Moctezuma Stephanie Dill Steve Eckart Steven Smith Stuart Viney Susan Rodenko Suzanne Johnson TC Crippen Thomas Hunt Tiffanie Turner Tim Powers Tim Stevens Timothy Loucks Tom Bell Tom Couch Tom Hanson Travis Williams Tricia Davis Troy Youngblood Tyler Jorgensen Tyler Pankonien Vince Devine Warren Carin Wesley Howell Will Boettner Wyatt Talbot
Number of TEXSAR Member-Volunteers by Certification:
Ground SAR Technicians: 95 K9 Handlers: 15 K9's: 26 (12 active, 14 in training) Flood and Swiftwater Technicians: 58 Rescue Boat Operators: 13 Vertical Rescue Technicians: 13 Medical Personnel (EMT-B or greater): 20 Incident Management Team Members: 19 Wildland Firefighters: 17 Structure Firefighters: 10 Mantrackers: 42 National SAR School Certified Search Planners: 5
In addition, TEXSAR has the following administrative committees. We thank our committee chairs and co-chairs.
Fundraising: Justin McInnis Logistics: Derek Moreland | Michael Bradley Membership: Christi Adams | Penny Goering Technology: Charlie Grove Training: Bill Sleep
TEXSAR Canine Team Members TEXSAR has one of the finest canine teams in the state of Texas. They are indispensable to TEXSAR, and are highly trained, year-round. Ben Alexander is TEXSAR’s K9 Branch Director. Below, we list each of our canines and in parentheses, the names of their handlers.
Caile (Ben Alexander) Cara (Tiffanie Turner) Cephira (Deputy Randy Thomas) Fetch-It (Tiffanie Turner) HotRod (Jamie Leigh-Powell) Kovu (Brianna Acevedo)
Orion (Joe Huston) Rowan (Tiffanie Turner) Seeker (TC Crippen) Tide (Amanda O’Malley) Twist (Jennifer Blanton) Wink (Jennifer Blanton)
Certified Wilderness Area dog teams: Caile (Ben Alexander) Kovu (Brianna Acevedo) Wink and Twist (Jennifer Blanton) In training:
Astro (Jason Kihlberg) Chief (Courtney Brown) Rip (Ben Alexander) Rue (Connor Byer)
Certified Trailing dog team: Wink and Twist (Jennifer Blanton), and pending, Seeker (TC Crippen). -20-
Crash (Jennifer Blanton) Nadia (Bryan Musolino) Reka (Adam Crispin) Runner (TC Crippen) Snitch (Brianna Acevedo)
Certified Canine Human Remains (HRD) Land teams:
Caile (Ben Alexander) Cara, Rowan and Fetchit (Tiffanie Turner) Hotrod (Jamie Powell) Orion (Joe Huston) Tide (Amanda O'Malley) Wink, Twist and Crash (Jennifer Blanton)
Pending certification is Gabe (Diane Morrow). In training are candidates Iv and Rip (Ben Alexander). Certified Water Recovery teams include Wink and Twist (Jennifer Blanton), and Caile (Ben Alexander).
Conclusion 2015 was a milestone year for TEXSAR: Texas Search and Rescue. We thank our membervolunteers, donors, and agency partners. TEXSAR looks forward to continuing its service to the citizens of Texas in 2016 and beyond. For information, please contact Karen H. Knox, Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org). Texas Search and Rescue P.O. Box 171258 Austin, Texas 78717 (512) 956-6727
IRS EIN for TEXSAR Inc.: 84-1644603
Photography credits: Cover and Page 4: Christopher Vu | Pages 2, 5, 17 and 24: Andrea Booher Page 7: Carolyn M. Appleton