COLLEGE STATION — Urban search and rescue team Texas Task Force 1 has been deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in advance of Hurricane Dennis’ landfall along the Eastern Gulf Coast this weekend.
The 28-member Type III team and six support personnel departed College Station at 9:45 a.m. Saturday en route to Meridian, Miss., where they will stage in advance of Dennis’ landfall. The inland location will allow Texas Task Force 1 to quickly respond to some of the hardest-hit areas along the Gulf Coast.
Texas Task Force 1 responded to Hurricane Ivan’s aftermath along the Alabama Gulf Coast in September 2004 and spent four days searching and clearing more than 500 structures.
The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) serves as the sponsoring agency for Texas Task Force 1, which is one of 28 teams in the national urban search and rescue system under FEMA. The Type III team is equipped to respond to light structural collapses and conduct general rescue operations.
Additional Texas Task Force 1 equipment and personnel are on standby should they be needed in response to Dennis or any other emergencies within the state of Texas. Texas Task Force 1, which consists of more than 200 members from 60 organizations across Texas, also serves as the state’s search and rescue team under direction of the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management.
Texas Task Force 1 is capable of responding to mass casualty disasters and is trained and equipped to locate and extricate victims trapped by flooding, collapsed structures and confined spaces in highly populated areas. The team is designed to be logistically self-sufficient for the first 72 hours of operation and is able to function for up to 10 days.
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized training, exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond.