Those of us in Central Texas could not take our eyes off the news this weekend. As I sat in my house in Wimberley – where an estimated 350 to 400 homes were destroyed – I could not believe what I was seeing unfolding in my own community. From dramatic water rescues to the flooding of streets near downtown Austin, the images were surreal. After years of drought, we were not prepared for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding that damaged or destroyed thousands of homes and left businesses waterlogged.
Luckily, our emergency and trauma services were prepared.
While the rest of us could only watch, emergency medical services, fire and police personnel were on the scene and in action. They braved high waters to save stranded motorists. They searched for the missing. And they brought the injured to local hospitals.
Texas hospitals work hand in hand with first responders during emergency situations. Every second of every day, hospitals are ready to care for patients in times of crisis. From car accidents to hurricanes, our hospitals are there when we need them most, not just in the immediate aftermath, but in the days, weeks and months that follow.
The trauma system in Texas remains among the best in the nation. Through a network of 284 designated trauma facilities throughout the state, victims of accidents, serious injuries and natural disasters have access to life-saving care. At 2.79 percent, the trauma mortality rate in Texas is a full percentage point better than the national average. We’re proud of the care our hospitals provide.
Our trauma system will be tested in the days to come. The flooding in Central Texas may have subsided, but Houston received more than 10 inches just last night. Forecasters call for more rain and severe weather across the state this week.
As our state’s residents recover and rebuild following these storms, our hospitals will remain on alert. Despite increasing costs and the threat of funding cuts, Texas hospitals will continue to provide outstanding care to the victims of this and other catastrophes.
Our thoughts remain with the victims and families impacted by these storms.