Hunterdon County 9-1-1 Communications Assists in Texas Water Rescue

Tuesday morning, Hunterdon County’s 9-1-1 center and a member of the Kingwood, New Jersey rescue squad connected a Kingwood, Texas family trapped by rising water in their home, with the Harris County, Texas Sheriff’s office to help effect a rescue, according to James Curry, Hunterdon County, New Jersey’s Emergency Services Communications Division Head.

Curry said that on Tuesday August 29th at approximately 11:35 am, the Hunterdon County Communications Center received a call from a long standing member of the Kingwood Rescue Squad reporting the rescue squad member received an email from someone in Texas, unknown to her, on her personal account. The email was brief and stated two people were in an attic with water rising in Kingwood, Texas. Included in the email was a name, address, and cell phone number.
Hunterdon County Senior Public Safety Technicians Ed Hahola, Katie Powell, and Public Safety Technician Tammy Hoffman worked quickly to determine that the Harris County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department is the law enforcement jurisdiction covering that particular address and made notification. The Harris County Sheriff’s Department asked Hunterdon County to advise those trapped that they would be added to the rescue list, Curry reported.

Hunterdon County Freeholder Director John E. Lanza said, “Due to the quick thinking of the Kingwood first responder and our 9-1-1 Center technicians, two additional lives have been saved in Texas. Recognizing the dire situation, the Kingwood Rescue Squad member, along with members of our Public Safety team, jumped into action and notified law enforcement officials to facilitate a rescue over 1,500 miles away. We cannot thank them enough and we are truly grateful for their expeditious measures which helped save lives.”

At 12:37 pm (CDT) the Communications Center received an email from the victims indicating they had been rescued. The Texas residents thanked everyone and forwarded their prayers.
The trapped occupants resided in Kingwood, Texas. It is believed that the residents conducted an internet search which caused them to send an email to Kingwood, New Jersey Rescue when they could not get a cellphone signal in Texas.