West, Texas Relief
3:36 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

UT Health Science Center Professor Helping Oversee Fatality Response Team In West

Dr. Emily Kidd, an assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Health at the UT Health Science Center, said she was in West from midnight Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday to assist at the scene of the explosion.

Kidd said she was impressed with what local responders had been able to do in such a short period of time:

"Initially I thought that we were going to be seeing a lot of patients, however, by the time I arrived, the far majority of the patients had actually already been triaged, treaded and transported to area hospitals," Kidd said.

Early Thursday, Kidd and other members of the team retreated to Austin and now are overseeing fatality response for the devastated town.

"A fatality response often requires something called a family assistance center, collecting information about family's loved ones, assist in the identification of loved ones as well as victim identification itself for all part of the fatality response," Kidd said.

Kidd praised the first responders who she said came from communities all around West and included a Dallas Fire-Rescue Captain who died in the blaze.

Grief counseling has been made available at the town’s library.