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Search & rescue team TX-TF1 hones skills at Disaster City® this weekend

4/28/2011 12:00 AM

COLLEGE STATION - With ongoing violence overseas, international catastrophes and the recent outbreak of devastating weather events, Texas’ elite search and rescue team – Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) – will hone its skills in preparation for future responses by participating in a Full-Scale Exercise (FSE) this weekend in Disaster City® in College Station, TX.

The 80-member TX-TF1 Blue Team will face a variety of rescue situations at multiple venues within Disaster City resulting from a terrorist attack utilizing a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED). A situation of this type is easily simulated by the venues in Disaster City and will utilize the same skills necessary to respond to such an incident.

Who is TX-TF1?
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. These regions include the Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas. TX-TF1 will deploy to Disaster City with its multi-million-dollar equipment cache.

TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), and TX-TF1 has deployed over 80 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.

Volunteers
Dozens of volunteers will be on hand to simulate casualties. Citizens from all over the Brazos Valley have volunteered to be role players with simulated (but extremely realistic) injuries ranging from simple cuts and bruises to complex, possibly life-threatening wounds.

Where
Disaster City®, College Station, Texas
Disaster City is 52 acres of simulated catastrophe, including rubble piles, collapsed buildings, train derailments and much more. It’s the largest and most comprehensive urban search and rescue training facility in the world and is part of TEEX’s College Station training complex.

Media Opportunities/Schedule of Events
Typically, the media do not have immediate access to areas where active search and rescue is occurring. This is your chance to see TX-TF1 in action and get an up-close look at what happens in a realistic rescue situation.

Saturday, April 24:

11 a.m.: TX-TF1 will arrive in Disaster City and begin assessing the situation. Early afternoon will be your best opportunity for good footage.

Interviews:
TX-TF1 Director Bob McKee, TX-TF1 members, volunteers and other personnel will be available for interviews by request.

Media note:
Media attending the event must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. A long-sleeve shirt is recommended. Other personal protective equipment will be provided for you.

To keep up with information about Texas Task Force 1, follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Contact Information

Kathy Fraser

Associate Director of Marketing and Communications

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A member of the Texas A&M University System
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