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Swiftwater rescue teams, helicopters deploy to Lufkin and Longview

10/30/2009 12:00 AM

COLLEGE STATION - Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) has moved deployed teams closer to the impacted areas at the direction of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The teams are moving closer to the area of heaviest rainfall to be prepared for requests for assistance from local jurisdictions.

Three swiftwater rescue teams and two Texas Military Forces UH-60 helicopters with TX-TF1 rescue technicians aboard were deployed to the city of Lufkin. Two UH-60 helicopters and TX-TF1 rescue technicians also moved to the city of Longview. Three swiftwater rescue teams are also being staged in College Station this afternoon for potential forward deployment later in the day.

This is part of the State’s effort to preposition and assist jurisdictions during this heavy weather event. In addition to these specialized rescue teams, four TX-TF1 Liaison Officers are deployed to cities in Southeast Texas to assist and be available to advise local jurisdictions on matters of search and rescue as required.

The Texas Military Forces UH-60 helicopters are equipped with special hoists and carry specialized water rescue equipment to be utilized by the TX-TF1 members. TX-TF1 rescue specialists have been conducting joint training with the Texas Military Forces over the summer in preparation for such an event.

Texans are reminded to monitor local media or NOAA Weather Radio during severe weather events for any statements and/or warnings issued by the National Weather Service.

Flash Flood Facts
As little as six inches of water moving over a roadway can begin to move your car. Swiftwater has a different effect on vehicles than standing water. Twelve to 24 inches of swiftwater can sweep away any type of vehicle, even a large truck or SUV.

About Texas Task Force 1
Texas Task Force 1 is sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and is comprised of more than 450 personnel representing more than 60 jurisdictions and agencies from across the state of Texas, and is one of 28 teams in the FEMA national urban search and rescue system. Texas Task Force 1 and TEEX coordinate statewide requests for search and rescue.

About the Texas Engineering Extension Service
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized, first-responder training, homeland security exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond. TEEX programs include fire services, homeland security, law enforcement, public works, safety and health, search and rescue, and economic development.

For More Information
Brian Smith
TX-TF1 Public Information Officer
979-450-0169

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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