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COLLEGE STATION — Texas Task Force 1 has activated an additional 35-member water rescue team in response to Hurricane Katrina’s Louisiana wrath. The water team will deploy from College Station to Baton Rouge, La., later today, where it will assist local emergency response officials with flooding.

Texas Task Force 1’s 70-member Type I urban search and rescue team left Shreveport, La., at noon today and is headed to Baton Rouge, where it will be under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The 70-member team and additional 10 support personnel were activated by FEMA on Saturday and have been staged in Shreveport. The Type I urban search and rescue team is capable of responding to major disaster events, including heavy rescues and structural collapses.

The Katrina activation marks Texas Task Force 1’s third hurricane deployment this season. Last September, Texas Task Force 1 responded to Hurricane Ivan’s aftermath along the Alabama Gulf Coast 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. 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. TEEX programs include fire, homeland security, law enforcement, public works, safety and health, search and rescue and technology transfer.

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