COLLEGE STATION – Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) was activated just before 1 a.m. this morning by the Governor through the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and deployed from their facility in College Station to West, Texas, around 6 a.m. to assist the jurisdiction in search and rescue operations after a large explosion at a fertilizer plant.
The 80 member TX-TF1 “Red” Team is a Type 1 Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Team consisting of Technical and Canine Search components along with Heavy Rescue personnel and equipment. Upon arrival, TX-TF1 will receive assignments from the local Incident Command and assist the jurisdiction as needed while setting up a Base of Operations (BoO) to continue the mission as long as necessary.
Who is TX-TF1?
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and has deployed over 90 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.
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 five-hour window. The task force consists of three separate units of approximately 80 members each. The teams rotate on a monthly standby, stand down or on call status. The “Red” Team is currently on call for deployment.