March 2017  


11th Annual CERT Rodeo Round-Up a Success

Harris County Citizen Corps held its 2017 CERT Rodeo Round-up Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Harris County Fire & Sheriff's Training Academy in Humble. Close to 300 team members and volunteers participated in the 11th annual event.
CERT members preparing injured child for transport.
One of 10 challenge stations at the 2017 CERT Rodeo Round-up.

This yearly event rounds up Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) from across the state to test their skills in medical operations, search and rescue, fire suppression, incident command, emergency preparedness and hazmat recognition.

"The CERT Rodeo isn't about winning or losing. It's about being prepared," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. "Knowing what to do when disaster strikes can help people survive until first responders arrive."

Southwest Houston Hispanic CERT, one of the
many teams that participated in this year's Rodeo Round-up.
To be a CERT member, individuals must complete an extensive eight-week course taught by first-responders to improve their proficiency in emergency preparedness basics that can be used in their homes, workplaces and communities.

"Harris County's CERT program is one of the strongest in the nation," added Emmett. "The cornerstone of that success is a strong commitment to individual and community preparedness."


In 2016, membership grew to more than 29,000 trained volunteers involved in 270 Community Emergency Response Teams. Most recently, CERT volunteers have assisted with flood recovery operations and many community events. They have also participated in drills and exercises with first responders and emergency managers.
"CERT volunteers are essential partners and play a crucial role in emergency preparedness and recovery," added Emmett. "We appreciate their dedication and selfless service that helps keep our communities safer."
The CERT program's success is due in large part to its growing partnership with first responders, non-profit agencies, community organizations and all of its volunteers.
Teams had to complete a controlled perimeter
size-up of a train accident and report back to incident command.

To join Harris County Citizen Corps or for more information about the CERT program go to or call (281) JOIN NOW (564-6669). Harris County Citizen Corps news and updates are also available on Facebook.




Harris County Mayors and Councils Association
Passes Resolution Opposing State Imposed Budget Cap

The Harris County Mayors and Councils Association recently passed a resolution opposing Senate Bill 2 this legislative session. SB 2 is being touted as a property taxpayer relief bill that would lower the rollback tax rate from 8 to 4 percent. This state imposed cap on the budget of every taxing entity in Texas would affect the ability of growing counties and cities to fund public safety, economic development and transportation, while providing minimal property tax relief.
Additionally, counties and cities would have to conduct costly mandatory elections that would be triggered if the lowered rollback tax rate is exceeded. Based on a 2014 Secretary of State sampling of counties, municipalities and special districts, the average cost incurred by a local government entity for an election is $1.70 per registered voter. Some Texas counties or cities would have to spend in excess of $1 million on mandatory rollback elections.
HCMCA believes that local officials should make decisions for their residents. Restricting a county or city's ability to raise funds will not provide taxpayers with meaningful property tax relief and could possibly cost lives by reducing vital services.
The HCMCA resolution was sent to Rep. Dennis Bonnen in the Texas House of Representative, who chairs the Committee on Ways and Means.

Civic Club Listening Tours

Harris County is the third most populous county in the United States with approximately 4.5 million residents. But Harris County is very different from other urban counties because so much of the county's population lives in the unincorporated area. More than 1.8 million people live in unincorporated Harris County. By comparison, there are 7,400 residents in unincorporated Dallas County.
Since a lot of attention is focused on fast-growing areas, Judge Emmett is conducting "listening tours" to ensure that the needs and concerns of established neighborhoods are being served. He will be attending as many civic club meetings as possible, primarily to listen to residents. The hope is that these meetings will generate a better focus on the needs of each area and ideas for cooperative efforts between the county, city, state and other entities.
If you would be interested in having Judge Emmett attend one of your civic club meetings, please contact Alberto Alvarado at 832-647-6976 or by email at