Early this morning, at the request of FEMA, the Texas Division of Emergency Management activated Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) to assist local, State and Federal responders in Arkansas after strong tornadoes struck a wide area near Little Rock.
This Type 1, 77 member team that includes Technical and Canine Search components as well as Heavy Rescue personnel and equipment is expected to arrive midday and will be ready to assist the efforts of local and state responders. In addition to this 77 member team, FEMA also activated the Central Division Incident Support Team Cache and 7 support personnel. This FEMA cache is housed, maintained and deployed from TX-TF1 Headquarters. The team was able to quickly respond as the activation occurred while the Task Force was engaged in their annual Operations Readiness Exercise at Disaster City in College Station, TX. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by these storms.
Who is TX-TF1?
TX-TF1 is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and has deployed over 90 times since 1997, including the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy, Sept. 11th World Trade Center attack, the explosion in West, TX, Moore, OK tornado 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 respond from jurisdictions within a 4-hour travel time from College Station. The Task Force consists of three separate teams of 70 members each, these teams rotate on a monthly basis.
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