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LUFKIN – Eight members of Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1), the state’s Urban Search & Rescue team, have been activated to assist in the search and recovery mission of debris from the space shuttle Columbia.

“Our role is to support and assist in the coordination of search and recovery operations,” said Team Leader Tim Gallagher.

The sub-component of TX-TF1 already has its first assignment: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assigned TX-TF1 with the coordination of 15 canine search units to assist in the evidence recovery mission. Gallagher reports the canine units are expected to arrive this evening (2/3/03); at that time, the team will learn the scope of its mission.

The eight TX-TF1 members were activated around 10 a.m. today (2/3/03) and will be stationed at the command and control center already established in Lufkin, Texas, at the Civic Center.

The leadership team includes Tim Gallagher, Billy Parker, and Pat Barrett, all of TEEX; Jay Peacock of the Fort Worth Fire Department; Joe Clark of the Houston Fire Department; Richard Hooks of the Corpus Christi Fire Department; David Fiero of the Austin Fire Department; and Mike Donoho of the Bryan Fire Department.

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