BROWNSVILLE — Operation Lone Star is providing free medical services for Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Webb counties with help from hundreds of local service groups and volunteers.

The services include immunizations; screenings for diabetic, hearing, vision and blood pressure; sports physicals; dental services and vision exams for prescription glasses for adults and children; glasses and preventive dental services.

“This is a preparedness exercise to test our capabilities in the event of a disaster where we would have to provide access or treatment to the entire community within a 48-hour period,” said Dino Chavez, incident commander at the Porter Early College High School, one of the Operation Lone Star sites.

“But at the same time, we use this opportunity to provide the services to the community.”

Locations for the services are: Harlingen School of Health Professions in Harlingen, Porter Early College High School in Brownsville, PSJA Early College High School in San Juan, Juarez-Lincoln High School in Mission, Ac2E Magnet Elementary in Rio Grande City and the United South High School in Laredo. They are open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Thursday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.

The event is hosted by the Cameron County Public Health Department, Texas Health and Human Services, Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department, City of Laredo Health Department and the Texas Military Forces. It is an emergency preparedness exercise to help the providers get ready for disasters.

The event has been going on for 20 years and it usually takes place the last week of July. Services are available for all ages but minors have to have a tutor or parent present with them.

Help on site includes Texas A&M, Texas State Guard, Texas Southmost College nursing students, Los Fresnos High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC), United States Public Health Service, Cameron County Public Health and Remote Area Medical.

“For a lot of people in our community this is the one time that they are able to receive these services. Everything is completely free,” Chavez said.