COLLEGE STATION – Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) was demobilized Saturday by the Texas Division of Emergency Management after a two-day deployment to West, Texas, for search and rescue operations following the explosion of the West Fertilizer Plant on Wednesday, April 17.
TX-TF1 teams worked in coordination with local jurisdictions and State response partners to conduct search and rescue operations, including Wide Area Search and structural shoring of several of the heavier damaged buildings. The team also provided building and infrastructure assessments.
Members of the TX-TF1 “Red Team” arrived back to College Station on Saturday and then departed for their home jurisdictions.
Who is TX-TF1?
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and has deployed over 90 times since 1997, including the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, Sept. 11th World Trade Center attack, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike. TX-TF1 can be activated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management or as one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 28 sanctioned urban search and rescue teams.
Members of TX-TF1 range from firefighters and medical personnel, to structural engineers, and come from all areas capable of reporting to College Station within a five-hour window. The task force consists of three separate units of approximately 80 members each. The teams rotate on a monthly standby, stand down or on call status. The “Red” Team is currently on call for deployment.