COLLEGE STATION — Search and rescue team Texas Task Force 1 received its demobilization orders related to Hurricane Dennis from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday, July 11, at 1 p.m. The team had been pre-staged in Mississippi since July 9 ahead of Hurricane Dennis’ landfall.
The initial damage reports were not as severe as originally predicted, and local authorities did not request assistance from the three FEMA search and rescue teams stationed along the Gulf Coast. The other FEMA urban search and rescue teams deployed for Hurricane Dennis included Tennessee Task Force 1 and Missouri Task Force 1.
Texas Task Force 1 had deployed a 28-member Type III team and six support personnel in preparation for Hurricane Dennis. The Type III team is equipped to respond to light structural collapses and conduct general rescue operations.
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. Texas Task Force 1 responded to Hurricane Ivan’s aftermath along the Alabama Gulf Coast — near Dennis’ landfall — in September 2004 and spent four days searching and clearing more than 500 structures.
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.