Billy Parker speaking to Older Man

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – On June 6 in South Bend, IN, founding member and former Chief of Texas A&M Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) Billy Parker received The Higgins and Langley Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of service and dedication to the development and leadership of the organization. Billy’s contributions have made TX-TF1 a gold standard in the Swiftwater community that has saved thousands of individuals from catastrophic weather and flooding events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  During Billy’s 35 years with TEEX, he created the State of Texas’ Water Rescue Program and designed/delivered both the SWT curriculum and the Swiftwater Boat Operator curriculum that has become a national and FEMA US&R standard used by programs throughout the US.

“The program Chief Parker created and left to the next generation is an example of a life of commitment to serving and saving others when water risks their lives, their family, and their pets. The TX-TF1 Water Rescue Program Chief Parker help create has responded to 161 water-related deployments and made more than 32,239 rescues in its 20-year existence,” said Jeff Saunders, Director of TX-TF1.

Higgins & Langley Memorial Awards

The Higgins and Langley Memorial Awards in Swiftwater Rescue honor outstanding achievement in the technical rescue discipline of swiftwater and flood rescue. They are not heroism awards but rather recognize preparedness, teamwork, and a job well done, sometimes under extreme conditions, where training is vital to the success of rescue missions and the safety of rescue personnel. To learn more about The Higgins and Langley Awards, please visit

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