Posted: Jun 19, 2014 6:48 PM
Updated: Jun 30, 2014 3:12 PM
BROOKS COUNTY - As more illegal immigrants cross the border, the risk of death is becoming greater.
Border Patrol officials deployed more agents trained in search and rescue to scour the brush in Brooks County for those who are lost and in need of help.
The agents are emergency medical technicians or paramedics. They are learning the lay of the land, while racing to save lives.
Border Patrol agents in Brooks County recently used a search dog to search for a woman in distress.
"We're at the mercy of an illegal who lost his sister on the journey," said Jose Molina, a Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) agent from El Paso.
The calls for search and rescues in the brush are about to increase as the temperatures soar, officials said.
The dog wasn't able to track the woman.
"It's a big area, so there's a lot to learn," Molina said. "I've been in the Valley since April 1. There's a learning curve."
Molina and 19 others are in the Rio Grande Valley, specifically to search and rescue illegal immigrants who don't want to get caught.
"A slow day can go to a busy day within minutes, within seconds," said Arnold Velasquez, a Border Patrol agent stationed in the Valley.
"You learn to adapt to different situations," Molina said. "What's the situation that I have, how many victims are there (and) what's their condition."
The agents must adapt quickly to the South Texas terrain.
"I think all the guys are here right now are fully aware of what they are getting into, and they welcome the challenge," Molina said.