I am a year round volunteer with the Gulf Coast Rescue Squad in Brazoria county, south of Houston. Year round we assist distressed boaters in the inland waterways but in time of crisis we depoly with the county to make rescues, transport fire, police and medical personal and miniature donkies. Ask me anything about water rescues, whats going on down here, or how to help out.

Proof: http://imgur.com/a/QusOV http://imgur.com/a/BF7hb

Comments: 73 • Responses: 26  • Date: 

drellby_primpton33 karma

have you tried poring gasoline on the water and burning it to enhance evaporation?

JoebobIII15 karma

I'll keep that in mind....

DontTreadOnBigfoot2 karma

Do you have access to any nearby refineries or oil rigs? Those could help supply your drying fuel.

JoebobIII2 karma

I have some contacts I could use...

harry_punner12 karma

What, in your opinion, is the most effective method to help people on the ground?

JoebobIII9 karma

Right now, if there is a shelter near you you can help out with please do. If you are far away, research a good organization to donate too. In these cases money is best. Try to find somewhere that gets the most to people and directly impacts those affected. Most items donated can't be used and are tossed so it's not as helpful as people hope. If you are local, get involved year round with organizations that give back. It's great so many people want to help now but if you aren't already invloved before something big hits you won't be utalized as much as you like.

itsisaaa11 karma

Have you rescued any animals yet? If so, which ones?

JoebobIII34 karma

Personally, dogs, cats, sugar gliders and an African gray parret. Other members have done every kind of live stock you can think of. Two nights ago we had to pick up a guy in his kayak that was trying to rescue his calf and got swept away. We found him with that calf draped over the front of his kayak and and to haul him, the calf, and the kyak back to dry land.

Shurglife11 karma

How well are the authorities coordinating/cooperating with civilian rescue groups? Do you drive a monster truck?

JoebobIII20 karma

It can be touch and go with communication. With our group is great, but we work with the sheriff's department all year long so those lines are well established. With other civilIan's it's crap. We have so many task force guys, FEMAA, feds and other resources that civilians aren't needed by the powers that be. With that being said, if you want to help your fellow man, go for it! Just be careful, we have had to pull a few "Texas navy"/"Cajon navy" people out of harms way. I drive a lifter 1997 f250, but not a monster truck like on the from page.

JBBanshee2 karma

But the picture is from the interior of a GM product. Details! Good on you either way sir.

JoebobIII3 karma

Ha ha, good catch. I'm in the rescue squads vehicle right now, mine doesn't have AC or we would be in it!

JBBanshee2 karma

Got ya. Stay safe out there sir!

JoebobIII3 karma

Will do brother

davidbklyn10 karma

How bad is it? Should we prepare ourselves for a significantly higher number of casualties than we are aware of now?

JoebobIII14 karma

Deaths, no where near the last major storms. My county we have 0 direct flood deaths. Houston has very few. Now, if Houston was told to evacuate, they all would have been stuck on the road and a ton of people would have died on the road. As it is, there is a lot of high water rescues because everyone is in their homes but for the most part they are safe in their homes and just need to get out before they run out of food and water.

As for the areas directly hit, they were a lot less populated than Houston or New Orleans so the death toll is lower.

Economicly, we are in for a big price tag. Places that have never seen water in the county are flooded and the water is still on the rise.

RacecarsOnIce8 karma

I'm involved with student community service groups at my university and my department is looking heavily at sending students to Houston in late October to help with cleanup. We're currently looking for contacts that could help us coordinate our visit. Are there any groups that we should avoid?

JoebobIII10 karma

Not sure who to avoid but I would suggest hooking up with the Mormon helping hands. They have a co-op and are very well practiced at flood clean ups. The clean up effort is going to take a lot of man power so thank you for thinking of doing the dirty work.

TheBJPLK3 karma

How do you mange to check Reddit while saving all those people?!

JoebobIII9 karma

Currently on stand by. I am running a boat that is very specialized so we go where the others can't and are on call until than.

AsDevilsRun3 karma

Stay safe.

I've been following the efforts key closely because I've got some friends out there (Air Force PJs from Moody AFB). Have y'all had any interaction with them? We've mainly got them going around in small boats (RAMZs), but a few guys have been with helicopters (HH-60G Pave Hawks) instead.

JoebobIII1 karma

Ya, we get deployed with all those guys. Each call it depends on what resources get pulled so sometimes it's just us and a cop, and sometimes it's 100 people

Jim35353 karma

On the news, you see people trapped in vehicles and hear about them often dying. However, a lot of them appear to be just in standing water.

Is there a reason the people can't exit and swim? I understand moving water is super dangerous, but a lot of the time it looks pretty stagnant.

JoebobIII7 karma

Some people are dumb and don't want to get their shoes wet but on the flipside, you have no idea what's outside that door. It can look calm but have massive underived currents. I dot blame anyone in a car calling 911.

TheBJPLK3 karma

Are you part of an Army Medevac or CGSAR?

JoebobIII5 karma

No, we are 100% volunteer and have ties to the sheriff's department and that's it.

MjrMjr1 karma

If you get pulled over for speeding can you get out of a ticket?

JoebobIII1 karma

Offically, no

MjrMjr1 karma

But... unofficially?

JoebobIII1 karma

No, I still get tickets

EricHill783 karma

Could you elaborate more on your interaction with the Texas/Cajun navy? What kinds of trouble were they in?

JoebobIII9 karma

So on day 1 when we knew they were coming the county sent me and another guy out to organize them and try to track there activites. Than feds and locals got wind of it and were scared of the liability of the county running unknown people so they cut that off. I don't blame them l, they have to make sure everything is done according to rules that don't always make sense. The trouble was a guy and his trailered boat got swept off a road at night so we had to go at 1 am and pull him off a tree. It was a harry situation that we got in because this random dude try to drive through high, fast moving water.

PikaCrunch2 karma

What do you do if there is a live wire? And how do you know if the water has an electric current in it?

JoebobIII2 karma

If lines are in the water we call it in to the EOC (emergency operations center) has a utilities guy in there and he can see what's up and if it live he can st it down before we go in.

BirdRoyale2 karma

Would this be a good time to try and buy a foreclosed home in Houston? Or do you think the water damage would make any discounts irrelevant?

JoebobIII7 karma

I would say wait and see, you land speculator.

BirdRoyale1 karma

FYI. I tried to write a comment giving some context, but I guess I didn't hit reply.

Long story short, I've been considering moving to Houston for a while now. Have been studying real estate in general and the specific market so I can get the best deal. Wasn't trying to take advantage of a horrible situation, just curious as to how much something like this would affect my plans. Is it smart to try and rehab one of these homes? Could I expect bank owned homes to drop in price? Is it smart to wait? Obviously spending $400k is a really big deal. So I've put a lot of research into this move, and a flood of this magnitude just wasn't something I had prepared for. How affected actually are places like Katy and Spring? I always thought global warming would ruin Baytown and League City economically, but not really make it to the northwestern side.

JoebobIII7 karma

Don't do it than. It sucks to rehab a flooded house. It sucks as it's in an area that floods. I would never do it

HappiDada1 karma

First off, God Bless man. I personally am a year round volunteer with our local Fire & Rescue but rarely see much river time as our idiots can usually just stand up... That is not a joke, most rescues are us driving to the side of the river and yelling "Stand Up" than the guy looks at us like were dumb followed by 30 mins of him standing there realizing he was the dumbass.

Onto my question: I see from your picture you seem to have what I assume to be a non-standard boat pictured, in your usual activity (not in emergencies where any boat will do) what does your department usually use? We have a new Zodiac although many of the department still prefers our old aluminium beast as rescue is simpler for combative swimmers.

JoebobIII2 karma

We are a 100% community funded so our equipment is whatever we can aford. On that note, the boat I am in is a privet members that he brings out during times like this. Our fleet is anything but standard and uniform.

drewm9161 karma

Hey, thanks for what you are doing! You mention elsewhere in this AMA that you are running a boat that is very specialized. In what way?

JoebobIII1 karma

Ha ha ha, ya it's our flat bottom body recovery boat. It has an out board motor and a small fan motor on it. It is just low profile compared to the airboats. It's like from the 70s so it's not anything super special. Hopfully this next year I'll get airboat qualified and captn one of them.

JoebobIII3 karma

Ha ha no, not from my experience. Some looting but we in Texas take care of that our selves.

scotus_canadensis1 karma

Do you work mostly by boat, or do you do air lift operations with helicopters and the like?

JoebobIII3 karma

We do boat only, air boats, flat bottom, and some deeper water craft. We are 100% donations so no helicopters, would be fun though! We have a member that has a person plane that he will spot for us when needed and if a chopper is needed we always have the coastguard.

myohmyohmyms1 karma

What is the risk for electrocution with all that water and home electronics/downed powerlines?

JoebobIII1 karma

Powerlines, if it is live and in the water GTFO! Don't even mess with it it, ypu will die and it will hurt the entire time. Home electronics no problem

JoebobIII1 karma

Powerlines, if it is live and in the water GTFO! Don't even mess with it it, ypu will die and it will hurt the entire time. Home electronics no problem

squishynurse0 karma

What's your favorite kind of cheese 🧀?

JoebobIII2 karma

A real sharp cheeter.