3/25/2008 12:00 AM
College Station - Texas Task Force 1, the state's elite urban search and rescue team, will respond to a mock earthquake at Disaster City? during its Operational Readiness Exercise, or ORE, March 29-31.
The annual full-scale exercise takes a different form each year and is designed to help prepare and maintain the unparalleled skills of TX-TF1 members.
Although the ORE is a mock earthquake, it will help prepare TX-TF1 for any disaster situation to which they may be called to respond.
Last year, TX-TF1 was deployed a record 16 times, including responses to the Eagle Pass tornado, the Hill Country floods and Hurricane Dean.
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service and can be deployed by the Governor's Division of Emergency Management or as one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's 28 sanctioned urban search and rescue teams.
Who is involved in the ORE?
TX-TF1: One of TX-TF1's three 80-person Type-1 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 four-hour window, including the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas. TX-TF1 will deploy to Disaster City? with its cache estimated at $2 million.
Volunteers: Approximately 150 volunteers will be on hand to simulate casualties. Citizens from all over the Brazos Valley have volunteered to be role players with fake injuries, covered in dust and debris and walking around dazed and confused.
Texas A&M Emergency Care Team: Will play the role of the Disaster City? EMS department.
Disaster Medical Assistance Team Four (TX-4 DMAT): TX-4 DMAT will set up a base camp to provide medical care to the injured victims brought to them by the Texas A&M Emergency Care Team.
Disaster City?, College Station, Texas: Disaster City? is 52 acres of simulated catastrophe, including rubble piles, collapsed buildings, a train derailmets, and much more. It is the largest and most comprehensive urban search and rescue training facility in the world.
Media Opportunities/Schedule of Events
The vast majority of times, media are not permitted in areas where search and rescue is happening in real life. 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, March 29:
9:00 a.m.: TX-TF1 will report to headquarters and deploy to Disaster City?.
Noon: BEST PHOTO AND VIDEO OPPORTUNITY! The task force will arrive at the scene of the devastating earthquake and begin assessing the situation at approximately noon. Chaos will fill the streets of Disaster City? and TX-TF1 will attempt to restore order to the situation.
Sunday, March 30:
All day: After TX-TF1 has located the areas where victims have been buried under buildings and rubble, they will execute technical rescue procedures.
Interviews: TX-TF1 Director Bob McKee, TX-TF1 members, volunteers and other personnel will available for interviews by request.