Former New Mexico Task Force Leader Jeff Saunders has joined the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) as the agency’s new associate director of emergency response and rescue.
Saunders will play an integral role with TEEX’s internationally acclaimed training programs for emergency responders specializing in both urban search and rescue and swift water rescue. He will also assist in directing the agency’s response mission under Texas Task Force 1, one of 28 national urban search and rescue teams under the Federal Emergency Management Agency and one of six teams designated to respond to weapons of mass destruction events.
“We are very pleased to have an individual with the experience and expertise of Jeff Saunders joining our team,” said Bob McKee, TEEX director of emergency response and rescue. “Saunders brings a wealth of experience to TEEX, particularly in swift water rescue and structural collapse, confined space, and trench rescue. We are certain he will be an invaluable asset to the agency and the state of Texas.”
Saunders, 45, formerly served as a member of New Mexico Task Force 1, which was deployed to the Pentagon as part of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was also the task force leader for seven Type-1 wildland fire events, including Cerro Grande in Los Alamos, N.M.
From 1991-1997, he served as the Santa Fe County Volunteer District Chief and as president of the Santa Fe County Fire Chiefs’ Association. He most recently served as Santa Fe County Assistant Chief of Operations.