3/16/2009 12:00 AM
Fresh off one of the most active and destructive response seasons in history, the state’s elite search and rescue team – Texas Task Force 1, or TX-TF1 – will hone its skills in preparation for upcoming responses by participating in a full-scale exercise March 28-29 in Disaster City®.
Members of TX-TF1 will respond to a mock earthquake scenario and will use the same skills necessary to respond to any type of man-made or natural disaster.
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and deployed 15 times in 2008, including responses to hurricanes Dolly and Ike. TX-TF1 can be activated 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 Full-Scale Exercise?
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 equipment cache estimated at $2 million.
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 (but extremely realistic) injuries, covered in dust and debris and walking around dazed and confused.
Texas A&M Emergency Care Team
This team will play the role of the Disaster City® EMS department.
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.
Media Opportunities/Schedule of Events
The vast majority of times, media are not permitted in areas where search and rescue is occurring 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 28:
9 a.m.: TX-TF1 will report to headquarters and deploy to Disaster City®.
Noon – 4 p.m.: 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 29:
All day: After TX-TF1 has located the areas where victims have been buried under buildings and rubble, they will execute technical rescue procedures.
TX-TF1 Director Bob McKee, TX-TF1 members, volunteers and other personnel will available for interviews by request.
Media attending the event must wear long pants, a long-sleeve shirt and closed-toe shoes. Other personal protective equipment will be provided for you.
Please contact Chuck Glenewinkel or Jay Socol to reserve your chance to cover this event.