Hockley County volunteers watching the skies for severe weather
HOCKLEY COUNTY, TX (KCBD) -
The West Texas weather is constantly changing and one organization in the South Plains is making sure they're always ready. The Hockley County Emergency Communications Team is a group of volunteers who are fully committed to keeping the public informed during severe weather.
This group of nine public servants range from current to former, EMS, Fire, Police and Sheriff's officials. Jeff Pharis overseas the team and he says they're always ready to go.
"When the National Weather Service issues a Severe Thunderstorm Watch or a Tornado Watch for our county, we automatically go into standby mode," Pharis said.
Their mobile unit is equipped with everything needed to alert agencies of threatening weather.
"The information that we get out in the field, we relay to the EOC, which also gets sent out to chiefs in the city," Pharis said.
The Hockley County ECT (formerly called the Hockley County Amateur Radio Club) is funded by grants and by the county, but this group is so dedicated in their service, they donate a lot of the equipment themselves.
"We firmly believe in protecting the public. Everyone in this group has a strong desire to help protect the lives of people in Levelland," Pharis said.
When emergencies happen, many counties lose weather spotters to other duties, so this group is hoping others will follow their lead.
"Not saying that our way is the only way, but we have taken advantage of several volunteers who want to give of their time," Pharis said.
So when the skies over Hockley County get stormy, remember there are nine extra sets of eyes keeping you informed.
For more information about the Hockley County Emergency Communications Team, visit http://www.wb5emr.org.