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Come Ride with the Texas Medical Rangers

The Texas Medical Rangers are in the initial stages of forming up and training, and we need a number of good doctors (and other members of the health care team) to volunteer to "ride with us" into the future. We all recognize the world has changed in the past few years and brought to our doorsteps new challenges and even new threats to the public’s health. Earlier this year, Governor Perry authorized a new organization of the Texas State Guard to be formed to partially address the manpower requirements of these new challenges. He directed that the initial unit of a Medical Reserve Corps, otherwise known as the Texas Medical Rangers, be organized at The University of Texas Health Science Center of San Antonio comprised of faculty, staff and students of the University as well as volunteer members of the San Antonio and South Texas medical community.

The purpose of the Texas Medical Rangers is to serve the people of Texas by providing volunteer medical expertise of the highest reputation and health services in support of public health emergencies, natural disasters and other situations at the call of the Governor. This will be a statewide organization with regional headquarters based at each of Texas’ health science campuses and smaller affiliated units elsewhere across the state. Health care teams of various sizes and mixes of skills will be trained to spring into action as a group of organized, disciplined volunteers to augment and support local authorities as well as statewide agencies, such as the Texas Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety in their response for terrorist events or other large scale public health emergencies.

We need the support of the physicians and support team members all across Texas in this effort. In the next year, we expect the Texas Medical Rangers to grow statewide to over 1,000 volunteers — doctors, nurses, dentists, and other health care professionals and support personnel — with more than 200 needed here in San Antonio and throughout South Texas. Share with your adult friends, family member and business associates the information contained on the Summary Description of the Unit and invite them to join you at an upcoming TMR Information Session or call (210) 567-0378. Major General Harold Timboe, a family physician, former Commander of Brooke Army Medical Center and currently Director, Center for Public Health Preparedness and Biomedical Research at The Health Science Center, is the Commander of the Texas Medical Rangers. Remember, this is a volunteer organization that will only require a little bit of your time to train with your other team members each month and strengthen your skills in such things as bioterrorism, weapons of mass destruction, disaster response and community preparedness. Because this is part of the Texas State Guard and not the National Guard, our units can only be used inside Texas and you are involved only if you specifically volunteer, on a mission-by-mission basis. Your time and level of commitment remains completely under your control. When the Governor does call part of the unit to a mission on State Active Duty there may be a small amount of pay, and, importantly, individuals under orders are protected under state liability and workmen’s compensation provisions.

For many who have previously served in the military and have been looking for a way to contribute to society while wearing the uniform and having a military rank — but without a long term obligation or time commitment — the Texas Medical Rangers can fulfill your active desire to serve your community. During our official missions, we wear the military field uniforms as part of the Texas State Guard.

In years to come, we want the people of Texas to count on the Texas Medical Rangers as responsive teams of professional volunteers serving all the residents of Texas with pride, competence and character. As a Texas Medical Ranger you can help prepare your community response to all kinds of public health situations, and do so with tremendous pride of service. Join us in this challenging enterprise to be ever-prepared and ever-ready, in the finest tradition of Texans serving Texans!

 

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