COLLEGE STATION – Members of Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) spend over 90 hours per year training to the level of excellence necessary to be a part of one of the 28 teams in the FEMA Urban Search & Rescue system. Their role is to stand ready to assist local jurisdictions when the worst happens and overwhelms responders in the affected area. To maintain that capability, each year TX-TF1 holds an Operational Readiness Exercise (ORE) in an environment second to none at Disaster City? in College Station, TX.
On April 24-26, the 70-member Team along with Utah Task Force 1 (UT-TF1), Texas Military Forces, the Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) and others will face the challenge of responding to a large-scale disaster, the details of which won’t be known until the exercise begins. With over 900 participants and 24-hour operations over 3 days, this exercise will be the largest ever held at the TEEX facility.
TX-TF1 also coordinates flood and swiftwater rescue for the state. Part of that response group is the Helicopter Search and Rescue Team (HSART), which partners with Texas Military Forces to provide the aviation assets necessary for many of these missions. In conjunction with the ORE, a multi-agency air Search & Rescue exercise will take place in the Brazos Valley as part of the annual Texas Military Forces Air Operations Center exercise (AIR-EX). Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas DPS, USCG, and Austin/Travis County STAR Flight will have aircraft participating. This group will be utilizing several different water locations throughout the area.
Who is TX-TF1?
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), and has deployed over 100 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 28 FEMA 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 four-hour window.
Saturday, April 25: Limited slots available from 1:00 to 6:00 PM.
This is a FEMA-sanctioned certification for the team and media must schedule their opportunity to minimize impact on the training exercise. No unscheduled media will be permitted in Disaster City.