Compassion in Uniform: Critical Incident Response Team – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]

Compassion in Uniform: Critical Incident Response Team – Texas Parks and Wildlife [Official]


(music) [News Anchor 1]
The Governor of Texas has declared a state of emergency for 70 counties. [News Anchor 2]
The town of West looks like a war zone tonight. [News Anchor 3]
A constable is dead after being shot behind a courthouse in Baytown this morning. [James Barge]
Often in their darkest hour when they don’t feel like there’s any hope at all there, we
show up and we’re able to help those folks. The CIT program is a program that started
with the Game Wardens. Our goal is to reduce the effects of stress
on our officer’s lives. [Steve Stapleton]
You never see us until something bad happens. When something bad happens we roll in. We serve an unbelievable role for Texas Parks
and Wildlife. [Craig Hernandez]
It’s really the emotional side of things that are hardest to get over. We can understand things logically, but that
doesn’t mean that we forget the sounds or the thoughts or the feeling that we had when
that happened. [Cynthia Guajardo-Echols]
So the Critical Incident Team can respond to all different types of situations. Recently we responded to the murder of a Deputy
Constable here in the Houston area. [News Anchor 3]
Officers gathered for a prayer circle earlier today. [Cynthia]
Natural disasters. [Radio]
The hurricane is expected to move into north east Texas later tonight. [Cynthia]
Sometimes it’s drownings. Unfortunately as Game Wardens, we’re a big
part of recovering drowning victims. (splash) (bagpipes) [Grahame Jones]
It really came out of the death of a Game Warden, Wesley Wagstaff, in 2003. [Officer]
Ready. Aim. Fire. (gun shots) [Grahame]
After that incident we thought that we could do things better. We thought we could respond better, and give
our people more training so that we could address those situations and deal with family
and be more responsive. [Steve]
Since its inception it’s kind of spilled over into we help other divisions, we help other
agencies, and we certainly help the public. [News Anchor 4]
The tornado plowed through an area 35 miles long. [Cody Jones]
We’ve had incidents as recent as the tornados that happened up in north Texas. (wind) [Cody]
And our personnel responding to that community. These folks live in that community, they breath
that community, they are a part of that community. [Steve]
We had several tornadoes come right through the middle of Canton. But we have extensive damage from one end
of the county all the way to the other end of the county. (shovel) [Kurt Kelley]
There was two officers that were effected down in Fruitvale. Both their houses got leveled. I’ve gone by and talked to them a couple of
times. Just reassure them that we’re going to get
through this, we’ll get through this together. Somebody just to be there to lean on, you
know a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to. [Cynthia]
Seeing officers that have been through these critical incidences and are struggling. To look in their eyes and really see another
soul, and see the hurt, and recognize that because you’ve been there. [Officer on radio]
. . . surrounded by three armed men who pointed their weapons at our Game Warden and disarmed
him. [James Barge]
You can’t afford to show emotions while you’re there. And as a result a lot of times officers never
deal with those emotions. It just stays inside of them and builds up
like a pressure cooker ’till the lid blows off. [Craig]
They just need to know what they’re going through is normal and they’re not in it alone. [Cody]
It takes a unique type of person that really stands up and wants do the job. That’s what we look for is those people that
really stand up and raise their hand and say this is for me. It’s not for everybody. [James]
What you’re doing as a CIT member is you’re volunteering to take other people’s burdens
on, and to help them carry those burdens. They become a part of who you are also. [Grahame]
You don’t always have the answers. You don’t always know what to say. But being there for those Game Wardens, being
there for those employees is what it’s all about. (music)

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