Under the agreement, the Travis County medical examiner will participate in the statewide Emergency Task Force system if called upon during times of mass fatality incidents; in turn, the county will have access to TMORT resources should a mass-fatality incident occur locally.
TMORT resources include an incident site team, morgue operations team, identification review team and victim information team.
A mass-fatalities incident is one that produces more fatalities than can be managed with locally available resources, according to a 2019 overview presented by the National Mass Fatalities Institute. The threshold for what constitutes a mass-fatalities incident changes from community to community.
Such incidents can include commercial airplane crashes, natural disasters, fires and mass shootings, per NMFI.
“Access to TMORT resources during a mass fatality event may enhance our ability to deal with the impact of the disaster,” county staff wrote in a brief.
Additionally, Travis County relies on an existing partnership with the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council in such situations.