MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

El Paso's HSI Rapid Response team heads to Houston to provide aid

El Paso's HSI Rapid Response team heads to Houston to provide aid.

People tend to think tactical military squads when Homeland Security and ICE are mentioned. But, when the HSI Rapid Response team drove through the gates of the Texas National Guard Center on Monday, it was about helping out those in need.

El Paso's Rapid Response team is going to be part of a much larger aid mission run by FEMA.

This group is an armed, self-sustaining unit that can be sent to any disaster to provide humanitarian and law enforcement support. The Rapid Response team brought drones, rescue baskets, generators and different equipment to help save lives in Houston.

The assistant special agent in charge, Jorge Uribarri, says the group is ready for the mission. Although, preparing mentally to go into such a devastating situation is a different thing entirely.

"At the end of the day, you don't truly prepare for it. Me personally, I have a little bit of an advantage, I was a fireman here in El Paso for eight years for a little bit of background,” Uribarri said, “I think everyone has their own experience that they're going to have to draw from and, at the end of the day, be prepared to do the mission. We'll do what we have to do. "

There are 25 members plus, three from the San Diego HSI team.

The Rapid Response Team is heading to Houston, but that’s not their final destination. They could be sent to other locations depending on instructions from FEMA.

"At the end of the day, you don't truly prepare for it. Me, personally, I have a little bit of an advantage. I was a fireman here in El Paso for eight years, for a little bit of background,” Uribarri said, “I think everyone has their own experience that they're going to have to draw from and, at the end of the day, be prepared to do the mission. We'll do what we have to do. "

There are 25 members of the team plus, three from the San Diego HSI team.

The Rapid Response teamTeam is heading to Houston, but that’s not their final destination. They could be sent to other locations depending on instructions from FEMA.

He says the team is meant to bring help, but also to keep the peace.

"The ultimate mission is to safeguard the homeland, which is of all of the aspects that entails. If that's rescue, if that's law enforcement, we embody that mission,” Uribarri said.

For some of the team members, and acting special agent in charge Jack Staton, this mission hits home.

"We have team members that are from that area. I personally have family in the Houston area,” Staton said. “All of us want to help our neighbors, help our communities and provide that humanitarian support."

Uribarri says the mission is all about bringing love and support from El Paso to Houston, leaving from the desert to help Texans in need.

"El Paso. That's just how we are here. We help each other,” Uribarri said.

Trending