Texas A&M Task Force 1 gearing up for hurricane season

Published: Jun. 10, 2019 at 6:12 PM CDT
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It's the beginning of hurricane season which means first responders are gearing up, including Texas A&M Task Force 1.

Christy Bormann and her canine partner, Gunny, train every day. Gunny is a vital part of the Urban Search and Rescue team.

"Gunny is one of the first critters to go to work on the team because we need to find the people, so we can rescue them," said Bormann, the search and rescue canine coordinator.

Similar to Gunny, two legged members of Task Force 1 are always in training for when hurricane season strikes.

"We want our teams to know to do it better, faster, stronger, quicker is what we do, and then from basically June until middle of October we really are predominately on the rescue mission ready to go out the door at a moments notice," said Jeff Saunders, the director of Texas A&M Task Force 1.

The task force stays busy. In the last four and half years, they've deployed 66 times across the country, including five major hurricanes.

"We've been that busy since I've been here. The thing that was different about 2017-2018 was it was a larger impact to communities," said Saunders.

When it's time to deploy, they're out the door in less than four hours.

"We have to be self sufficient for 72 hours. We don't want to be a burden on any of the local governments where we go to respond, so all of that is in the equipment and trailers you see behind me," said Saunders.

Texas A&M Task Force 1 has already been out for severe weather related incidents 9 times this year. They also sent two teams to Oklahoma to help with flooding in Tulsa.