COLLEGE STATION – Join thousands of Aggie fans on Saturday, Sept. 11, as they remember the events of 9/11/01 and recognize Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) urban search and rescue team at the Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech football game at Kyle Field. More than 135 current and former Task Force members will be recognized during the pregame activities as part of Texas First Responders Day. The Task Force will be accompanied by their family members, who so importantly support the members as they carry out their duties.
Nine years ago, the Task Force was mobilized when the 9/11 attacks occurred, and 74 team members responded to the site of the World Trade Center, spending nine days working around the clock, accumulating more than 216 hours of recovery operations at Ground Zero in New York City. Five years ago, the team responded to Hurricane Katrina and assisted with thousands of rescues in New Orleans.
Since the team was formed in 1997, it has been deployed more than 80 times for search and rescue operations, such as the 1999 Aggie Bonfire collapse, Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, Alex and many others, as well as flooding along the Rio Grande, Guadalupe and other rivers across the state.
TX-TF1 and its sponsoring agency, the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), will host an exhibit and demonstrations in the Aggie Fan Zone prior to the 6 p.m. game. Even if you don’t have tickets, you can meet six of the 18 canine members of TX-TF1, see and touch a steel beam recovered from one of the Towers of the World Trade Center, and learn how the team uses the tools of the trade, such as search cameras and listening devices. The first 3,000 visitors to the exhibit will receive commemorative dog tags, and kids can pick up a collectible trading card about one of the search and rescue canines. Everyone who stops by can enter a drawing for a chance to win an Emergency Preparedness Kit.
TX-TF1 is comprised of 544 members, including a Type I and Type III urban search and rescue team and a water rescue task force. The team is both a state and federal urban search and rescue team, one of 28 teams that comprise the FEMA National Urban Search and Rescue System. Members represent over 60 jurisdictions from across Texas. The team has a vast equipment cache and enough supplies to be self-sufficient for up to seven days at the scene of an incident. TX-TF1 is activated by the Texas Department of Emergency Management, and/or FEMA, and is sponsored by TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System.