The Coastal Bend has always extended a helping hand when disaster strikes, no matter where. The West, Texas, explosion is no exception.

The call to action came Wednesday night for a specially-trained member of the Corpus Christi Fire Department.

Fire Chief Robert Rocha said the Department is always prepared for any possible emergency. The specialized training among the ranks makes the department an invaluable source anywhere the need arises.

"Members of Texas Task Force One that are also members of the Corpus Christi Fire Department are specially trained in heavy search and rescue," Rocha said.

Texas Task Force One, a team of specialized first responders from throughout the state, are hand-picked to respond to emergencies like the West, Texas, explosion.

"We're fortunate here in Corpus Christi to have many of those members specially trained to handle those kinds of situations, working here in Corpus Christi, and we did deploy assets, manpower to the refinery to assist with search and rescue," Rocha said.

In the meantime, at the Coastal Bend chapter of the American Red Cross, folks here have been told to stay close to the phones should the need arise.

"We are ready to go, so we are seeing what the needs are," said Danny Resendez of the American Red Cross. "The current chapter there in West, Texas, did open up a shelter and we're just waiting to see if they need more support. If they need more volunteers, more resources."

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