Kyle city leaders could be looking into working with first responders to develop short-term action plans for small-scale emergencies following a handful of minor incidents this summer.
On Aug. 3, Kyle City Council member Alex Villalobos announced an initiative to develop action plans. The move comes on the heels of a July 2 gas leak and the July 4 fireworks malfunction.
Currently, the city uses Hays County’s emergency plan to handle a natural disaster or mass emergency incident. However, first responders have no official manual for smaller-scale, but equally dangerous events.
Villalobos was concerned about response times and organization in regard to emergencies and he hopes to develop plans to shelter citizens in these short-term emergencies. Some council members and first responders, however, felt too much planning might restrict their ability to help during isolated incidents.
Kyle has Incident Action Plans (IAP) and Emergency Action Plans (EAP) for large-scale emergencies such as floods and fires. When the July 4 malfunction occurred, Kyle Fire Chief Kyle Taylor said emergency officials had an EAP in place to handle the incident.
Taylor said the EAP worked and included safety boundaries and evacuation procedures.
“There was a plan,” Taylor said. “There is one every year.”
Mayor Travis Mitchell said a formal plan laid out for each possible occurrence might slow down police and first responders in their attempts to act whenever gas leaks, explosions and other issues occur.
“What I heard happened with the gas break was an immediate response, an immediate engagement of the community and taking care of them in such a way that you had flexibility to take care of each of their needs,” Mitchell said.
Regardless of existing plans, Villalobos wants to develop a shelter response plan that will provide a location to house people after incidents, even if only for a couple hours.
“We should extend training for incidents like what just happened with the fireworks,” Villalobos said. “We should be taking care of our citizenry appropriately should something drastic happen.”
Villalobos said he wants plans in writing and approved by city leaders.
However, there was no motion made to develop plans nor did staff receive direction.
Villalobos said he was not sure why his initiative was on this particular agenda but will bring the issue back with more research for a potential vote.