Texas A&M Forest Service employees Alan Fox, Tyler Raynes, Jarred Lemmon, Ronnie Jones and Kevin Pierce are all serving the Lone Star State Incident Management Team in the Logistics section.
Logistics is responsible for ordering supplies, tracking items for the New York Army National Guard to distribute, arranging meals for personnel assigned to the incident and much more.
Fox, a resource specialist in Palestine, and Raynes, a regional fire coordinator in Archer City, spent three days driving to New York to transport supplies for the team. Big city traffic, they say, has presented their biggest challenge.
Raynes admits he was confused by all the honking horns on the road, thinking maybe the nice people of New York were alluding to the George Strait country tune, “Honk if You Honky Tonk.”
Lemmon, a law enforcement investigator in Linden, also had some travel challenges. His flight to New York was his first time on an airplane.
“It was horrific,” he said of the bumpy ride in late December. “The weather was bad and the pilot said he’d never had to land like that. I think snakes on a plane would have been better.”
Pierce boarded a plane for the first time in 15 years to get to the New York assignment and said he was more than a little nervous. Pierce, also a law enforcement investigator, has served as Texas A&M Forest Service’s handler for the arson bloodhound and claims he likes “to stay behind the scenes.”
Jones, a resource specialist in San Augustine, and the other members of the Logistics section say they have found New Yorkers to be kind and receptive to the Texas team, in the Big Apple for three weeks to coordinate wellness checks for more than 102,000 households affected by Superstorm Sandy.
“There’s not much culture shock,” Raynes said. “New York has been getting culture shock from us.”