Nacogdoches firefighters, art professor helping with TIFMAS, sta - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches firefighters, art professor helping with TIFMAS, state guard in Southeast Texas

TIFMAS, Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, sends Nacogdoches firefighters to Houston and Galveston. Nacogdoches Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger is the TIFMAS state coordinator. (Source: KTRE Staff) TIFMAS, Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, sends Nacogdoches firefighters to Houston and Galveston. Nacogdoches Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger is the TIFMAS state coordinator. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Scott Runnels of Nacogdoches has been a member of the Texas State Guard for ten years. The Maritime division leader is trained in swift water rescue and oversees a fleet of 20 rescue boats in Houston. (Source: KTRE Staff) Scott Runnels of Nacogdoches has been a member of the Texas State Guard for ten years. The Maritime division leader is trained in swift water rescue and oversees a fleet of 20 rescue boats in Houston. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Members of the Nacogdoches Fire Department are serving TIFMAS in an all hazards deployment in Houston and Galveston. (Source: KTRE Staff) Members of the Nacogdoches Fire Department are serving TIFMAS in an all hazards deployment in Houston and Galveston. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

Aside from individual efforts, there is local participation in various state agencies.

Nacogdoches is playing a significant role.

An alarm alerted Nacogdoches firefighters of a local emergency Tuesday, while in Houston and Galveston calls of a different nature have also been responded to by Nacogdoches firefighters.

"Nacogdoches has supplied two task force leaders, our strike team leaders,” said Capt. Mike Brown Nacogdoches’ city fire marshal. Additionally, an engine company crewed of four of our firefighters."

The department serves the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System, or TIFMAS. The Texas Forest Service mobilizes local resources for statewide use.

"TIFMAS currently has approximately 200 firefighters deployed from the state,” Brown said.

Nacogdoches Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger is the TIFMAS state coordinator overseeing seven branches. It's an all-hazards deployment, meaning firefighters must be ready for anything at a moment's notice.

"Check out the Texas State Guard Facebook page,” said Chay Runnels, the wife of a Texas State Guard member.

It's where Chay Runnels goes in hopes of spotting her husband, Texas State Guard Scott Runnels.

"I am proud of him,” Chay Runnels said. “He has been in the state guard for almost ten years in the Maritime Division."

Scott Runnels, along with about 20 other East Texans, has trained monthly at the Woodville armory for swift-water rescue and recovery diving.
"They call it the brown water navy,” Chay Runnels said.

Scott is in command of 20 boats, far different than his profession as an adjunct art professor at SFA.

"He feels great knowing there is people here that has his back,” Chay Runnels said.

That knowledge allows everyone from State Guard members to Nacogdoches firefighters play a significant role in helping those most in need.

The Nacogdoches Fire Department also has control of a state engine that its state partners from Texarkana is using in Houston.

Another collaboration involves employers. They're required to allow members of state deployed agencies time off during a state of emergency.

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