When Hurricane Dean poised itself to strike Texas, the state called upon the Texas Engineering Extension Service or TEEX to assemble the largest deployment of rescue personnel and equipment within a matter of days.
A task that resulted in an extremely valuable real-life training exercise for both Texas and British officials.
London Fire Brigade’s Group Manager Richard Binder was one of several rescue responders from the United Kingdom who flew over to be a part of the deployment that took place on Monday.
Binder said the trip allowed him to see a fast and successful compilation of rescue assets.
"To see that in practice and see the issues and the logistics and resources they required…to put that in place was impressive,” Binder said.
Having trained with TEEX on a number of occasions, Binder said what he observed will be implemented within the London Fire Brigade.
Just last month, Mereyside Fire and Rescue Service Director of Operational Preparedness and Resilience Brian Locke said team
members used the swift water rescue training they had just received
"We actually had four teams out in different parts of the country carrying out rescues and recon in the areas," Locke said.
Kem Bennett, the founder of Texas Task Force 1 believes they received training at the best facility.
"This state's emergency response system is probably the finest in the nation,” Bennett said.
Bennett said after the tragedy of the Oklahoma City bombings it was obvious Texas rescuers needed to be trained to respond to various
As a result, a facility and training programs in urban search and rescue, and structural collapses were created.
Now, what they offer is sought out by rescue organizations worldwide.
"We developed the training props and the field in College Station for training for urban search and rescue,” Bennett said. “And word got out around the world that we're the only place, really in those days, to come."
A special memorandum signed between TEEX, Texas Task Force
1, and the British rescue organizations allows them all to volunteer their expertise across borders.
With all of their training combined they are able to serve, train, and respond to the people who need them most.