Since 2006, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) has utilized an incredible group of volunteers from the surrounding communities to assist with US&R training and large scale exercises in Disaster City®. The task of training for a large-scale disaster or terrorist attack requires that emergency responders be exposed to the chaos and disorganization of a disaster scene. Our volunteers help create that chaos and realism. They make training and exercises in Disaster City® the most realistic in the world.
Volunteers are reminded of the following:
- You may register for a particular shift - note start times above
- Always wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts (no shorts and no short sleeves)
- Always wear sturdy boots or tennis shoes (no sandals or exposed toes)
- Always bring layers of clothing in case the weather changes
- Leave your cell phone in your car, you don’t want to lose it in Disaster City®
- Call or email the volunteer coordinator if you cannot make your shift.
Remember, emergency responders are depending on you in order to conduct training. The most important thing about the volunteer program is to have fun. Volunteers will learn about emergency response and how search and rescue operations are conducted.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
You must be signed up for a volunteer shift in advance.
Disaster City® volunteers come from all walks of life, all ages, and many different communities.
- Citizens who wish to help Texas Task Force One
- Animal lovers and people interested in canine search teams
- Student groups from Texas A&M University, Blinn College, and Sam Houston University
- Volunteers interested in emergency preparedness
- Community groups such as Boy Scouts, and CERT teams
- Local churches
- Anyone who would like to see what happens in Disaster City®
Phone: (979) 458-5636 | Tollfree: (866) 878-8900
Canine Rescue Teams
One area that has seen tremendous training improvement is our Disaster Canine Search Program. Before the Disaster City® Volunteer Program, the canine handlers would have to take turns acting as victims in order for the canine teams to practice searching. The addition of volunteers has now freed the canine team to continue training instead of “hiding in the rubble”. The volunteers have become an integral part of the training and advancement of our canine search teams.
- Volunteers get a chance to meet and interact with the canine handlers and search canine.
- More training repetitions can be held in each training day.
- Complex search scenarios with multiple victims.
- New, unknown victims
- Repeat volunteers become well-trained assistants.
As volunteers continue to come out and assist with the canine search training, each visit they are assigned greater responsibilities and can assist with providing more advanced training problems for the canine teams. Disaster City® volunteers are an important and necessary part of the Disaster Canine Search Program for the State of Texas. Contact Debbie Mendez at (979) 458-5635 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this course.