REGIONAL SERVICES DIVISION 


PROGRAM SUMMARY

The Regional Services Division is charged with the responsibility of providing technical assistance and direct services to RGCOG member governments and their constituents.  The services are provided through contractual arrangements and direct management of programs.

The Regional Services Vision is to:

Create a prosperous, safe, healthy, and economically viable region.

The Regional Services Mission is to:

Create and support programs that promote accountability, efficiency and effectiveness within the Rio Grande Council of Governments.

The Regional Services Division administers the following programs:

9-1-1 Emergency Communication

The Division operates a regional 9-1-1 network that provides emergency communications equipment and services to residents of Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, and Presidio Counties.

 

The Division has been certified as a Wireless Phase II service area; this provides two new capabilities to the four rural Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).  The first capability is to route wireless calls to the PSAPs.  The second is the ability to identify a wireless call by its latitude and longitude, and then plot the wireless handset’s geographic location on the dispatcher’s workstation.  The new technology allows the dispatcher to provide timely and accurate emergency information to first responders within the incident response area.

The Division also updates and maintains the Addressing Database for all unincorporated communities in the five-county region as well as assisting the incorporated cities with their Addressing Database. 

 

The Division continues to provide training to new dispatchers and call-takers in the region, which includes an overview of the 9-1-1 program and training on TDD/TDY calls.

Finally, the Division also operates the 9-1-1 Public Education program, which allows educators, first responders, and other local agencies to serve as advocates and promoters of the program.  Most often, the public education program is focused on the youth.


Criminal Justice

The Regional Services Division coordinates programs and provides staff support to the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division, to develop an annual plan and strategy to provide state financial support to local law enforcement and criminal justice organizations to address both juvenile and adult offender programs;

The Division  operates a regional program for training for law enforcement personnel, and others; and the Division staffs the Criminal Justice Planning groups which prioritize programs in the area under the Criminal Justice Program, General Victim Assistance-Direct Services, Violent Crimes Against Women Criminal Justice and General Juvenile Justice and Delinquency.


Community and Economic Development

The Division operates the Community Development Block Grant technical assistance program for RGCOG member governments. This program provides training assistance for elected representatives of member governments, assistance with rules and regulations, and assistance in preparation of grant applications and funding requests primarily to the Office of Rural Community Affairs.

 

The Division provides staff support to the Regional Review Committee, composed of gubernatorial appointees from the region tasked with scoring and ranking applicants for non-entitlement Community Development grants in the region.

 

The Economic Development area encompasses planning, technical assistance, and small business/tourism assistance to provide jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in the region. The main task in the economic development area is staff support to the West Texas Economic Development District.

 

 

Hazard Mitigation

The Division maintains the Far West Texas Hazard Mitigation Action Plan.  A Mitigation Plan is a community-driven, living document that communities use to reduce their vulnerability to hazards.  Communities are encouraged to develop hazard mitigation plans in order to receive mitigation grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grants from FEMA can augment local mitigation activities that are already being done.  The Far West Texas Hazard Mitigation Action Plan encompasses the counties of El Paso, Hudspeth, Culberson, Jeff Davis, Presidio, Brewster and the incorporated cities within for a total of seventeen jurisdictions.

 

Emergency Preparedness & Homeland Security (Serving the needs of our Rural and Urban Counties)

In June 2002, The Governor's Office requested that all Councils of Governments develop regional homeland security plans as part of a state planning initiative.  Since that time, The Rio Grande Council of Governments has assisted city and county governments in various activities related to emergency preparedness/homeland security.  Some of these functions include:  updating existing emergency management plans; developing Mutual Aid Agreements among jurisdictions; Inter-jurisdictional plans for all hazards, including terrorism; and providing basic emergency plans.  The Regional Services Division assists Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio Counties in the expansion of community emergency preparedness services by providing liaison, project management, project development, exercise development, and other support duties as assigned for the Homeland Security Grant Program as directed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) and State Administrative Agency (SAA).

 

Rio Grande Council of Governments Citizen Corps Program Initiatives

The Rio Grande Council of Governments (RGCOG) initiatives with the Citizen Corps Programs fall under the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Implementation Plan 2010-2015, Goal 2: Reduce Vulnerability to Natural Disasters, Criminal and Terrorist attacks and Catastrophic Events, Objective 2.4 Enhance the Safety of Schools in Texas.  The RGCOG's main focus with Citizen Corps Programs has been on the incorporation and implementation of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) through training and outreach amongst the community and schools; while emphasizing student and staff preparedness and safety.

 

Citizen Corps Program: Community Emergency Response Team Overview

The Citizen Corps Program was created to help coordinate volunteer activities that will make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation.  It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from the threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds.

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.  Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

 

Rio Grande Council of Governments High School and Higher Learning Collaborative Projects

The Rio Grande Council of Governments has collaborated with the University of Texas at El Paso, Socorro High School, and Horizon High School in the provision and delivery of training to students and faculty.  Training is tailored to fit the individual needs of each educational institution.  Each institution receives the basic overview of what CERT's do along with basic emergency preparedness issues faced within the community.  Along with Emergency Preparedness 101, the RGCOG collaborates with outside agencies such as the El Paso Police Department and El Paso Fire Department to bring in subject matter experts to teach the Modules of Fire Safety and Terrorism Awareness.  Additionally, the Basic CERT G-317 Curriculum has been approved by the Texas Education Agency to teach within high school courses such as Fire & Science Technology and Criminal Justice.  The RGCOG also serves as a liaison with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in the coordination of exercises tailored towards school safety. 

 

Texas Safety School Center and Emergency Management within Schools

The Texas States' Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) is the leading  agency in the field of emergency management amongst educational institutions.  The Texas Safety School Center has an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) Checklist for the Basic EOP at:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/sro1yxu584j2vva/4RW0NS-uq_/Job-Aids/EM-Toolkit/EOP-Checklist.pdf.  The Rio Grande Council of Governments is able to provide technical assistance to all school districts in the completion of their Basic Emergency Operations Plan.

 

Citizen Preparedness

During a disaster, citizens must be prepared to survive on their own for at least three days.  Be Ready for an emergency by making a disaster kit, creating a family plan, and staying informed.  Information can be obtained from:  www.ready.gov and www.preparingtexas.gov

 


Regional Services

Name

Number

Extension

Director

Marisa Quintanilla

915-533-0998

119

Regional Services Coordinator, II

Raul Gonzalez

915-533-0998

137

911/GIS Coordinator

Aaron Burciaga

915-533-0998

127

Administrative Assistant

Letitia Turner

915-533-0998

150

Regional Services Manager

Elvia Galindo

915-533-0998

122

Regional Services Coordinator Cynthia Mendez 915-533-0998 138

911/GIS Coordinator (Big Bend Area)

Catherine Crumpton

432-837-7199