Providing An Extra Boost

Spirit of Abilene | June 1, 2019
By Loretta Fulton

Shortly after the tornado did its damage early Saturday morning, May 18, Pioneer Drive Baptist Church stepped up, offering its parking lot as a staging area for first responders and volunteers. Within a couple of days, the process had been moved into the gym. Professionals and volunteers with a number of organizations, such as BCFS, the Salvation Army, United Way, and others are showing up 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day to assist. They are tasked with assisting people who don’t have insurance and need access to resources.

City of Abilene receiving additional help with tornado recovery and relief effort

KTXS 12| May 27, 2019
By Nicholas Teresky

ABILENE, Texas — The City of Abilene has requested additional assistance in recovering from the tornado that touched down in the city on May 18.

The City of Abilene and 2-1-1 Texas have summoned an Emergency Management – Incident Management Team (IMT) to provide further help with the recovery effort after the city’s tornado on May 18.

BCFS Taps Sicard as VP – Logistics and Resource Management

Photo: Gary Sicard

BCFS has named Gary Sicard as Vice President of Logistics and Resource Management, responsible for agency resources and procurement. Additionally, Sicard will serve as the organization’s Emergency Management Division’s Logistics Chief, responsible for disaster preparedness, capacity building, vendor management, packaging, pricing and deployment of resources nationwide and internationally. Sicard will work to further strengthen BCFS’ impeccable reputation for stewardship by improving and implementing agency procedures to ensure efficient and effective methodologies for  purchasing, inventory management storing and shipping goods to all BCFS locations from coast-to-coast and throughout the world.

“BCFS operates in high stakes environments, so it’s essential we always have the right tools and procedures ready for response at a moment’s notice,” said Kari Tatro, Chief Operating Officer/Executive Vice President – Administration, Education and Emergency Management. “Gary’s ability to manage highly expansive and complex procurement and resource efforts are essential  for overseeing the many, quick-moving parts of our international organization.”

Sicard joins BCFS EMD after a 26-year career in the U.S. Navy, where he rose through the ranks to represent the Department of Defense to high-ranking officials in Europe and the Middle East as a Lieutenant Commander. He directed the procurement of more than $2.5 billion in material, equipment and services for the construction and overhaul of nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines, ensuring the nation’s capital vessels were ready for sea. In both the public and private sectors, he led large and multifaceted teams, managing purchasing, expediting, logistics, inspection and material for multibillion dollar engineering procurement and construction projects in complex regulatory environments.

Sicard holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Ashford University and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, Institute for Supply Management, Institute for Real Estate Management, and is a Certified Defense Privatization Manager. He is a Lean Six Sigma Champion and a former instructor for process improvement, adhering to the Deming methods.

The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1-November 30. While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a “below-normal” season, it is critical for individuals, families and communities in areas vulnerable to storms to be prepared.

The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1-November 30. While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a “below-normal” season, it is critical for individuals, families and communities in areas vulnerable to storms to be prepared.

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) specializes in emergency management, incident management, disaster medical response, mass care, medical sheltering and planning for vulnerable populations. When disaster strikes, our Incident Management Team can have boots on the ground anywhere in the U.S. within 48 hours. BCFS EMD personnel have responded to every major critical incident in the U.S. in the past 12 years, including several hurricanes, the 9/11 Terrorist Attack, the H1N1 flu pandemic and a number of tornados, fires, floods, hazardous material spills and earthquakes.

AmeriCares Partners with BCFS Health and Human Services to Pre-Position Relief Supplies for Texans with Disabilities

Supplies are on-hand for the height of hurricane season

AmeriCares and BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) have pre-positioned equipment and relief supplies for Texans with disabilities displaced by disasters. The equipment can be readily deployed to support resource requests for up to five Texas Disaster District regions. The pre-positioned supplies include nearly $50,000 worth of equipment including wheelchairs, canes, cots, shower chairs and other safety equipment BCFS EMD can rapidly deploy at the request of local and state agencies. The supplies will be stored in San Antonio and distributed to regions across the state after hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other emergencies.

AmeriCares, the global health and disaster relief organization, selected Texas for the preparedness program because it is one of the most disaster-prone states. BCFS EMD provides critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments, as well as private businesses and institutions, before, during and after disasters. In Texas, BCFS EMD is a top partner for operating and supplying shelters for residents displaced by storms and other emergencies.

“AmeriCares is dedicated to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable disaster survivors,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “By pre-positioning equipment and supplies with our partner BCFS, we are ensuring emergency shelters across Texas will have the medical equipment and supplies elderly and disabled survivors most frequently need.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has designated September National Disaster Preparedness Month to encourage Americans to prepare for all type of emergencies, from natural disasters and major storms to terrorist attacks.

“Pre-staging emergency assets and having partnerships in place prior to an incident are best practices that ensure jurisdictions have the tools necessary to save lives when disaster strikes,” said Kari Tatro, BCFS Executive Vice President of Emergency Management. “With help from AmeriCares, we are creating a national model for preparedness that can – and should – be replicated in states and regions across the country.”

BCFS EMD is part of a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations operated by BCFS. BCFS EMD partners with FEMA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and various states and municipalities across the nation. The organization is a nationally recognized leader in serving vulnerable populations during disasters, and developed the guidance document and curriculum for FEMA’s national Guidance for the Integration of Functional Needs Support Services in General Population Shelters.

AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and restoring health and hope. AmeriCares Emergency Response program helps communities and health care facilities worldwide prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. The organization delivers medicines and relief supplies, awards funding to local organizations assisting the recovery and helps health care providers prepare for future emergencies. AmeriCares emergency response experts responded to the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, and most recently, Hurricane Sandy in the northeast.

AmeriCares and BCFS EMD first partnered in 2011 when AmeriCares awarded the agency a grant to develop protocols and procedures for medical shelters, build capacity for alternate care sites, and develop and deliver disaster medical training courses.

About AmeriCares

AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization that delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in need around the world and across the United States. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $11 billion in humanitarian aid to 164 countries. For more information, visit


BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) provides all hazards preparedness consultation, incident management and full-scale emergency response support to local, state and federal agencies throughout the U.S. BCFS began its work in emergency management during the 1993 Branch Davidian incident in Waco, Texas, providing emergency sheltering for the children caught in the crossfire. Its Incident Management Team members have responded to every major critical incident in the U.S. in the past 12 years, including 9/11, the H1N1 flu pandemic, and countless hurricanes, tornados, fires, floods, hazardous material spills and earthquakes. For more information, visit Or for emergency response services 24-hours a day, call 1 (800) 337-0373.