Texas Task Force 1 and 2 Assemble in CS

Members of College Station-based Texas Task Force 1 and Dallas-based Texas Task Force 2 are moving out of College Station and towards the Gulf of Mexico in response to Hurricane Gustav.

Sunday, personnel and equipment began arriving at the south College Station hub of Task Force 1, the elite search and rescue team for the state.

Early in the day, the State of Louisiana requested help from the teams. A C-130 cargo plane at Easterwood Airport loaded up members of TX-TF1 to take them to New Orleans, where they will help with the evacuation of nursing home residents unable to get out themselves.

Early on Sunday afternoon, 10 water rescue swimmers were set to be picked up at Easterwood in order to go to Louisiana staging areas as Gustav approaches.

Louisiana does not have teams similar to TX-TF1 and TX-TF2, so Texas has its teams ready to deploy to affected areas in either state.

In all, TX-TF1 officials report the following assets ready to move as Gustav makes its move:

- TX-TF1 Type-I structural urban search and rescue team
- TX-TF1 Type-III hurricane/wide-area flood urban search and rescue team
- TX-TF2 (Dallas-based) Type-III hurricane/wide-area flood urban search and rescue team
- 10 water rescue teams
- 8 TX-TF1 helicopter rescue specialists to work aboard Texas Military Forces Blackhawk helicopters
- Numerous liaisons to assist at the State Operations Center in Austin and with Disaster District Chairs and counties along the Texas coast

In addition, members of two English teams will deploy with the task forces in order to assist. London Fire Brigade members will assist with command efforts, and members of the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service are deploying to assist with rescues.

In total, some 400 personnel from more than 60 agencies and jurisdictions in Texas make up TX-TF1. So far this year, they have been activated for named storms Dolly and Eduoard.

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