Jason Tharp started his career in the fire service in 2006. He is a certified TCFP Master Structural Firefighter, Instructor III, Fire Officer IV, Incident Safety Officer, Wildland Firefighter, Advanced Fire Investigator, Driver Operator – Pumper, Driver Operator – Aerial, and Fire and Life Safety Educator II as well as an EMT Basic.
Chief Tharp holds a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management Administration from Texas A&M-San Antonio. He also graduated from the Fire Service Chief Executive Officer program at Texas A&M TEEX Mays Business School, and the Texas Fire Chiefs Academy from the Texas Fire Chiefs Association. He started as a volunteer firefighter for the West I-10 Volunteer Fire Department at Station 1 in 2006 and worked his way up to Station Captain and Department Safety Officer in 2010.
In 2014, Chief Tharp was hired by HCESD 48 for the Day Crew as a part-time firefighter. In July 2018 he became the Lieutenant of Community Risk Reduction. A year later, Community Risk Reduction became an official division of the department, and he was promoted to head the division as Division Chief of Community Risk Reduction.
In March of 2020, Chief Tharp was nominated and awarded the Lone Star Achievement award by the Texas Fire Chiefs Association. Along with his role at HCESD 48, he is also a full-time District Chief for Eastex Fire Department (HCESD 10) in Northeast Harris County.
Welcome to the Community Risk Reduction page for Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department. HCESD 48 prioritizes the “Community Risk Reduction” philosophy by providing educational safety programs, often free of charge, that benefit the community.
Community Risk Reduction (CRR) is the identification and prioritization of risks, threats, and hazards followed by the evaluation and implementation of strategies to lessen their impact. CRR is a new concept firmly rooted in traditional fire prevention activities. The main difference is that the scope of prevention activities has expanded from fire to identifying other risk factors that threaten the safety of our community. We utilize data analysis along with anecdotal information to deploy resources to solve those problems. In addition, we build partnerships within the community to avoid duplication of efforts while implementing the right tools for the job. The result is a division committed to efficiency and effectiveness in preventing harm to our citizens and community.
- Fire Prevention programs tailored to the specific needs of “at-risk populations”
- Community-wide fire extinguisher training, including industries and businesses
- Smoke alarm installation program
- CPR and First Aid training through the American Heart Association
- Safe Sitter Classes educating teens who care for younger siblings or provide babysitting services on important safety skills
- Home Safety Surveys
- Car Seat Safety education and events
The CRR Team, often referred to as the “Community Team”, is comprised of a part-time Division Chief of Community Risk Reduction, a part-time Lieutenant of Public Education, a part-time Community Relations Coordinator, and volunteer members who give their time to help support our mission in the community. We believe the Community Risk Reduction Division is leading the way for a safer Greater Katy area.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is a Federal Emergency Management Agency program that educates citizens about the hazards they face in their community and trains them in lifesaving skills. If needed following a disaster, these citizen-responders use their training as part of a neighborhood or workplace team to help others when professional responders are overwhelmed or not immediately available. CERT members provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources when they arrive.
CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a difference.