COLLEGE STATION – Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) returned to College Station Dec. 28 after being demobilized by the Texas Department of Emergency Management. The team, in conjunction with Texas Task Force 2, completed searches of 13 areas in Rowlett and Garland, where a powerful tornado struck on Dec. 26.
The two teams conducted 205 primary and secondary searches, identifying over 1,100 businesses and homes that had been damaged. Of those, 478 structures were identified as critically damaged or completely destroyed.
TX-TF1 had been activated on Dec. 26 by Gov. Greg Abbott through the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), to assist the local jurisdictions in Rowlett, Texas, with search and rescue operations. Upon arrival, TX-TF1 received assignments from the local Incident Command and assisted the jurisdiction as needed while setting up their Base of Operations (BoO) to support the mission as long as necessary.
The 80-member TX-TF1 “Red” Team was deployed. It is a Type 1 Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Team consisting of Technical and Canine Search components, along with Heavy Rescue personnel and equipment.
About Texas Task Force 1
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.
Texas Task Force 1 Website: www.texastaskforce1.org/