COLLEGE STATION – Texas Task Force 1’s Canine Program hosted 57 canine search specialist teams at the FEMA Canine Search Specialist Weekend at Disaster City? on Jan. 23-24. The teams represented 18 of the 28 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams from across the nation as well as canine teams from Texas Task Force 2.
During the two-day event, the teams broke up into groups and were able to work with handlers from other areas to make the exercise one that promoted both new training and ideas being shared by all. Members of Texas A&M University’s Veterinary Emergency Team supported the event, ensuring that all canines received excellent care during the training exercises.
Canine Search Specialist Teams are highly trained members of urban search and rescue teams, and must be certified by FEMA Urban Search and Rescue to go on a federal deployment. They work on a wide variety of disasters, from tornadoes and hurricanes to wildfires and explosions. Canine Search Specialist Teams spend hundreds of hours in training and most serve on a volunteer basis.
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.
Texas Task Force 1 Website: www.texastaskforce1.org/