COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- Texas Task Force 1, an urban search and rescue organization based in College Station, will now manage Dallas-based Texas Task Force 2.
The consolidation of the two organizations is confirmed by Texas Task Force 1 Director Jeff Saunders.
The City of Dallas Fire-Rescue Department was the sponsoring agency for Texas Task Force 2. The organization will be able to receive benefits from the state of Texas now that it's managed under the umbrella of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.
"This is going to make deployment to disasters and rescues easier," said Saunders. "The two groups already train together, but this consolidation will help streamline our responses."
Saunders says no funding or staff will be cut from TX-TF2 with the change.
In 2004, the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department proposed the concept of developing a regional Urban Search and Rescue Team to the North Central Texas Council of Governments. Through the efforts of a committed group of people, a Type III - 3 team / 28 member Urban Search and Rescue Task force was formed and became operational on April 1, 2007. The team was designed to provide an immediate response of a Type III team anywhere within the 16 counties of the North Central Texas Council of Governments.
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, or TEEX, and has deployed over 90 times since 1997, including the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, Sept. 11th World Trade Center attack, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike. TX-TF1 can be activated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management or as one of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) 28 sanctioned urban search and rescue teams.
Members of TX-TF1 range from firefighters and medical personnel, to structural engineers, and come from all areas capable of reporting to College Station within a five-hour window. The task force consists of three separate units of approximately 80 members each. The teams rotate on a monthly standby, stand down or on call status.
Texas Task Force 1 Website: www.texastaskforce1.org/