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Frequently Asked Questions
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Q. What is the organization's formal name and status?
A. The organization serving San Antonio and South Texas to the border with Mexico is: ALAMO GROUP, Medical Reserve Corps, Texas State Guard. Members are appointed or enlisted into the Texas Military Forces. We call ourselves the "Texas Medical Rangers."

Q. If I am accepted as a member of the Texas Medical Rangers, what time commitment do I incur?
A. Members of the Texas State Guard commit to a minimum of 4 hours of assignment-related training each month, plus a minimum of 3 days for Annual Training, often during a single long weekend. Texas Medical Rangers may count their participation in unit-approved Homeland Security (HS) courses or classes toward their minimum monthly training requirement. Members who participate in unit-approved HS exercises in their capacity as members of the Texas State Guard Medical Reserve Corps may credit their exercise hours toward their 24 hours of required Annual Training time.

Q. Do I receive pay for my service as a member of the Texas State Guard?
A1. Usually not. Service in the Texas State Guard is on an unpaid status for monthly training and Annual Training. When ordered to State Active Duty, you may be on an unpaid or partial compensation basis, depending on the mission and nature of service required. The amount of partial compensation is based upon the rank awarded to the member by the Texas State Guard.

A2. If you are an employee of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and are ordered to State Active Duty, you may continue to receive your normal state (university) salary, under the terms and conditions of the Handbook of Operating Procedures, 4.7.21.

Q. As a Texas Medical Ranger, am I a member of the United States Armed Forces and am I subject to federal mobilization?
A. No. Members of the Texas State Guard are NOT subject to federal mobilization and are NOT members of the U.S. Armed Forces. However, the Governor of the State of Texas may order members of the Texas State Guard to State Active Duty status, typically assigning them to work near the members' homes of record. This is usually on a by-name volunteer basis. While on State Active Duty status, members of the Texas Medical Rangers may work side by side with a variety of people, including volunteers from the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, soldiers and airmen of the Texas National Guard, and local civilian emergency responders.

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Q. If I am currently in the Armed Forces Reserves or am a military retiree, may I join the Texas Medical Rangers? Would my membership impact my retirement status or pay?
A. Military service members currently in the active or reserve forces of the United States already have a federal military appointment and are not eligible to join the Texas Medical Rangers. Retirees of any military branch or armed service may apply for membership in the Texas Medical Rangers (TMR). If they are currently drawing retirement pay, membership in the TMR does not impact their retiree status or their federal service credit.

Q. Do I wear a uniform in the Texas State Guard and is it issued?
A. Depending upon the nature of your training, your unit leader may require that you wear a military uniform prescribed by Texas State Guard regulations. However, for some creditable monthly training, it may be more appropriate to wear regular business clothing. Your unit leader will make this determination and notify you. Typically, duty performed during Annual Training requires the wearing of the prescribed Texas State Guard military uniform. If ordered to State Active Duty, the dress standard is to wear the prescribed Texas State Guard military uniform, unless directed otherwise by the first General Officer in the Texas State Guard chain of command. For people newly assigned to the Texas Medical Rangers, a reasonable amount of time will be allowed to obtain the prescribed uniforms and tailor them with appropriate patches and nametags, under the supervision of the unit Command Sergeant Major or senior NCO. The tradition in the Texas State Guard is that commissioned, warrant and senior noncommissioned officers purchase their own uniforms.

Q. As a member of the Texas Medical Rangers, what opportunities for service may I pursue?
A1. For health professionals (practicing, retired or in health professions -student or resident status), you can become a member of an emergency medical response team that trains to provide auxiliary (i.e., "surge") assistance for public health authorities. Texas Medical Rangers in the health professions field are most likely to be assigned to alternate treatment/prophylaxis sites, NOT to operational hospitals or clinics. Possible health professions field assignments may include:

  • Administering mass prophylaxis (e.g., vaccinations or emergency medications);
  • Providing mass triage assistance, overseeing informed consent orientations, and providing basic life-preserving primary care;
  • Assisting and advising public health authorities in surveillance activities by collecting and evaluating relevant data about patient symptoms and conditions;
  • Serving as officers-in-charge or deputies for alternate treatment sites and Call Centers.

A2. For other-than health professionals, you have many ways to serve administratively and logistically, as a highly valued member of the health support field:

  • Record keeping to track patient treatment(s) and conditions;
  • Writing copy and Web-posting for public information and training offices;
  • Arranging speakers for training sessions and managing HS exercises;
  • Serving in Call Centers to answer the public's health questions and make appropriate referrals;
  • Provide logistical assistance as a team member to breakdown, manage, escort and assist in the distribution of national pharmaceutical "push-packs";
  • Assist in site sanitation, food service, shift and transport scheduling, crowd management, workforce relief, and/or as auxiliary medical orderlies.

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Q. As a faculty member of HSC, will my service in the Texas Medical Rangers count as university service for promotion and tenure?
A. This possibility will be investigated and we will approach the appropriate academic authorities to establish procedures, if this is approved. The process will be accelerated if you join the TMR and petition; the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Biomedical Research office will support such a petition.

Q. Will members of the Texas Medical Rangers be considered "first responders?"
A. Not in the traditional sense that firefighters and police officers have been so considered historically. Only the WMD Medical Response Augmentation Team will have a mission to be ready to deploy within 24 hours, primarily to augment the State of Texas' Civil Support Team (agent detection and advisory team). Even so, this is not a "first responder" role, but more a support and auxiliary role. Keep in mind that for bioterrorism, the definition of "first responder" may evolve to include family practice physicians and other health care providers not historically referred to as "first responders." In the future there may come a time when a Texas Medical Ranger might be the first one to detect health symptoms indicative of a bioagent infection.

Q. Will I be provided any kind of legal protection for the work I do as a Texas State Guardsman?
A1. During routine monthly training and Annual Training (i.e., anytime you are NOT on State Active Duty orders), there is NO special legal protection extended to you. Therefore, it is important NOT to engage in behavior that might subject you to legal liability. Usually, in a training-only status, you will not have opportunity nor be expected to engage in activities that might generate against you a malpractice or negligence lawsuit. Training status by itself does NOT confer any legal immunity.

A2. When you are serving on State Active Duty orders (during the period of time stipulated in written orders or their amendments), signed by the Adjutant General of the Texas Military Forces on behalf of the Governor of Texas, you may have limited legal immunity for your actions that were duly assigned by your superiors in the Texas Military Forces, provided that such assigned work was performed in a capacity for which you were trained, certified and/or officially detailed. This means that if you have exercised reasonable care and due diligence consistent with your Texas State Guard assignment, your actions are protected by the State. Should you be threatened or suspect that you may be named in adverse legal action connected with your service while in State Active Duty status, you should immediately and subsequently record all relevant circumstances and promptly request legal assistance in writing from the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) office of the Texas State Guard.

Q. Am I provided medical or life insurance while I serve as a member of the Texas State Guard?
A1. No traditional medical insurance is provided. You should secure and/or maintain personal medical/health insurance. During monthly training and Annual Training there is no automatic medical coverage provided by the State. However, your unit may choose to secure a limited group contract for catastrophic medical expenses during Annual Training. This coverage is at-cost to members and is not automatic. So, you should exercise your normal degree of care and not engage in dangerous behavior during routine training.

A2. While you are on State Active Duty orders (i.e., written orders signed by the Adjutant General stipulating that you are on State Active Duty) and you suffer an injury or accident in a duty capacity, then you may be entitled to limited recovery of some expenses, provided you properly and promptly document your condition. If you suffer a physical or psychological injury while on State Active Duty orders, you should promptly have your medical condition professionally documented by a third-party physician, properly file a claim through the Texas State Guard JAG office, and make yourself available for subsequent interview and/or examination by military medical authorities designated by the Adjutant General.

A3. At this time there is no automatic life insurance coverage provided by the State for members of the Texas State Guard. Consequently, you should maintain in effect your current life insurance policies.

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Q. What kind of training will be available to members of the Texas Medical Rangers?
A. The Center for Public Health Preparedness and Biomedical Research (CPHPBR) will host regular skill and informational sessions creditable for Texas Medical Rangers training hours (a monthly requirement). In addition, TMR team members will develop their own monthly training opportunities, both team-oriented and for the benefit of all in the TMR organization. In addition, training can be pursued independently through selected FEMA EMI courses, available 24/7 on the FEMA-EMI website and special community-focused courses moderated by or so-sponsored by the CPHPBR. Annual training for Texas Medical Rangers will also include exercise participation with emergency planning and response partner organizations.

Q. What is the connection between Texas Medical Rangers and DMATs (Disaster Medical Augmentation Teams)?
A. DMATs are federally funded and subject to interstate deployment. DMAT members typically train for individual emergency patient treatment or field first-aide responsibilities, although some have specialized patient treatment missions. DMATs often have equipment to maintain as part of their responsibilities. As a unit, Texas Medical Rangers will not deploy outside the State of Texas because they are a State of Texas capability and report only to the Governor through the Division of Emergency Management and the Adjutant General of Texas. The TMR mission is to support the Department of Public Health and local Metro or Regional health authorities to restore Public Health. The TMR mission is unit-based, not individual in nature. The TMR focus is to provide trained auxiliary expertise (as opposed to equipment) in a militarily-responsive structure to perform prescribed public health responsibilities, not to directly support any one hospital or clinic administrator. The focus of TMR unit training and work is regional public health within the State of Texas, targeting PREVENTION of the spread of diseases or infections, not hospital augmentation service.

Q. Will members of the Texas Medical Rangers be required to take the smallpox vaccination?
A. No, so long as receiving the smallpox inoculation is considered a voluntary action by the CDC, there is generally no requirement. However, Texas Medical Rangers who train to serve as vaccinators in the Alternate Treatment Facility role and other selected TMR exercise participants may be offered the opportunity to receive the inoculation.

Q. How will I be assigned if I become a member of the Texas Medical Rangers?
A. Your expressed interest in particular training roles will be discussed at the Interview. You will be able to describe your educational and experiential background to help determine where you might be initially assigned. Your military rank will be determined by several factors, including your expertise, prior training, education level attained and number of years prior experience in related functional assignments. As a Texas Medical Ranger, you will train in more than one response scenario and have the opportunity for military promotion based upon excellent service, regular participation and continuing education/training.

Q. Most importantly, why should I join the Texas Medical Rangers?
A1. It will not be for the money, because your service is voluntary.

A2. However, have you wondered who will help preserve or restore your community's public health if it is seriously threatened? There are simply not enough public health emergency responders and not enough capacity in hospital emergency rooms to serve the inevitable "surge" of patients and concerned citizens in a mass disaster situation. Who will help answer their questions? Who will administer emergency medications to them throughout the city and even in rural parts of South Texas? Should a major natural or man-induced calamity contaminate the environment or threaten the population at large with biological outbreak of contagious disease or chemical/radiological effects, who will be there to help reverse the tide of despair and panic? Who will assist public health response teams that restore our way of life and protect our families and neighbors from toxic substances and deadly contagions? Are you one of the Best Samaritans among us who will prepare yourself, train together with others who have a similar commitment and stand ready to step into the breach, making a critical difference to preserve life and sanity, and fend off mass dissipation? If this is you ...

Q. If I am interested in joining, what are the next steps?

A. If possible, attend a scheduled Information/Induction session and prepare for an interview by filling out the necessary paperwork and gathering other required documents (i.e. copy of driver’s license, education diploma(s), medical licensure, etc.).  Next, schedule a placement interview with the Adjutant (or Personnel Officer) by calling 210-567-7111 to discuss and determine your role.  At the interview, you will have additional opportunity to have your questions answered, discuss assignment options and then complete a few more application documents immediately after the face-to-face interview. Dress is business attire. Also, your photograph will be taken at the interview. Assuming all application requirements are met, within a week or two after the interview you should be notified to schedule a time for the administration of your commissioning or enlistment oath. In the meantime, you are welcome to attend CPHPBR training opportunities for TMR credit and speak with your colleagues to encourage them to join you as a Texas Medical Ranger.

You are invited to apply for membership as a Texas Medical Ranger! Contact TexMedRangers@uthscsa.edu


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