DVIDS – News – RSC the first stop in USACE’s Hurricane Ida response

MOBILE, Ala. – In response to the emergency response from Hurricane Ida, the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Readiness Support Center (RSC) is located in Mobile, Ala. began conducting reception, staging, forward movement and integration (RSOI) and roofing quality assurance (QA) training of the personnel deployed to support the region.

The RSC has been receiving and training first responders since early last week and expects to train many more in the coming months to help the victims of Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.

“The Readiness Support Center was chosen for a number of reasons,” Steven Diaz, deputy director of the RSC. “Firstly, our location is ideal for this particular event. Training in and around the affected areas is not feasible due to lack of hotel accommodations, power supply and several other hurricane-related issues. In addition, our equipment and facilities to facilitate training are state-of-the-art. And we have the training support technicians on hand to help.”

So far training is going well, Diaz said. They train about 20-30 QA technicians per day and as of Friday a total of 140 QAs have been trained with the first goal of training 240 QAs.

Mike Welch, a Superintendent of Power Plants in the Omaha District who helps deliver QA roofing training, says the training involves more than just filling out paperwork and submitting requests.

“Not only do we train them on how the Blue Roof program works and how to do roofing assessments, but we also touch on the psychological aspect,” Welch said. “Many have never been deployed before and it could affect them. Many of them will come in contact with real survivors. They will be the face of the force that encounters those people and they need to be prepared for that.”

One of the interns, 1stLt. Phillip Powelson, a project manager with the St. Louis District, said he volunteered to help with Hurricane Ida after witnessing what USACE did to help Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the country in 2017.

“I’ve always wanted to be part of the Blue Roof mission,” Powelson said. “So when the opportunity arose that there could be a Blue Roof mission in response to Hurricane Ida, I jumped at the chance to volunteer. I wanted to be a part of something like this and help people who are so devastated.”

Another intern Megan Hartnett, who is a cartographer in the Galveston County, said she volunteered because she has always wanted to help after a hurricane, after witnessing the damage Hurricane Ike wrought in her hometown of Galveston in 2008. Texas.

The interns arriving in Mobile go through RSOI and then undergo a one day roofing QA training. After that, the trainees will either be deployed in the field or conduct their QAs remotely from the RSC.

Welch said his main goal is for the interns to be successful.

“I was here before the storm hit and I’ll be here for 30-60 days,” Welch said. “I wanted to get there early so I could get the program off the ground. We have a lot of new players and a lot of people who have never been deployed before. I want them to be able to successfully complete the mission.”

Diaz said that through all of this, the RSC will be there to support whatever the QA trainers or trainees need.

“The RSC invests heavily in the training of all emergency response teams, this makes our support seamless,” said Diaz. “Our role is to support the mission in any case and to provide upward reporting of all activities and to mitigate any issues related to space, equipment, coordination, reception of incoming workers and administrative oversight.”

Date taken: 13.13.2021
Date posted: 09.13.2021 17:37
Story ID: 405130

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