Texas Task Force One has been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to be on the national rotation for call-out. TX-TF1, the state’s first Urban Search and Rescue team, was accepted into FEMA’s National Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) Response System last year. Each month, three of the 28 task forces in the national system, one from each division, are on call to be first out in case of a national disaster. TX-TF1 will be first out in the nation in October 2001.
Now that TX-TF1 has joined the national rotation for FEMA call-out, team members will be sporting the new FEMA uniform for any deployment out of state. The uniform is dark navy with the National USAR patch and the TX-TF1 patch. Members will still wear the TX-TF1 gray uniforms for deployments within Texas.
TX-TF1 is comprised of personnel from 48 organizations and emergency services departments across the state. The Task Force is divided into three 62-member teams: red, white and blue. Each team comes to College Station once a year for an intensive operational readiness exercise (ORE). The white team held its ORE in February while the blue team recently completed its exercise in April. The red team will hold its readiness exercise in September.
Nine TEEX employees also serve as members of TX-TF1. They are:
- Kem Bennett, Team Director
- Tim Gallagher, US&R, Director of Emergency Response for TX-TF1
- Quenya Evans, NERRTC/US&R
- Al Guarino, US&R
- Thom Jones, ESTI
- Johnny Mendez, US&R
- Billy Parker, US&R
- Todd Reynolds, US&R
- Roy Robinson, EUPWTI