9/9/2011 12:00 AM
As Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) prepares to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its deployment to the World Trade Center collapse, a new book, Texas Task Force 1: Urban Search & Rescue, chronicles the team through images and stories of its missions and members.
One of the nation's elite search and rescue teams, TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). It has answered calls to disasters including 9/11, Space Shuttle Columbia explosion, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike.
The book was created by freelance photographer and former TEEX employee Bud Force and provides a behind-the-scenes look at disaster response through the eyes of the brave men and women who answer the call to serve.
Through a lively mix of history, interviews and photographs, Force paints a fascinating portrait of these courageous people - and their canine partners - who place themselves in danger in order to save others. Force says the team's responders are not seeking praise and accolades for their work. "They're not doing it to be heroes," he says. "They're not doing it for glory, they're doing it for the sole reason of helping others."
As team member Matthew Minson says in the book: "The principle of helping others is as fundamental to the search and rescue members I know as is breathing."
Since 2005, Force has been photographing the team's disaster response efforts in addition to documenting their specialized equipment and training, including time spent honing their skills at the unique training facility known as Disaster City?.
"I feel privileged to have joined the team and documented what these responders do in the field," Force says. "My hope is that these stories and photos will not only educate the public on the capabilities of urban search and rescue, but also show the heart of disaster response on a personal level."
Texas Task Force 1: Urban Search & Rescue is published by Texas A&M University Press, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Texas Task Force 1 team.