Washington, DC -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently accepted the Texas Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) into the National Urban Search and Rescue System, bringing the total task forces to 28.
FEMA completed a thorough evaluation of TX-TF1 on March 14-15, 2000. An experienced four-person team of peers drawn from the ranks of existing National US&R Task Forces and two FEMA representatives conducted the on-site evaluation. The evaluation took place at TX-TF1 facilities on the Texas A&M Bryan Fire Training Ground in College Station, Texas.
The evaluation team found the TX-TF1 to be qualified, capable, and operationally ready to perform urban search and rescue missions within the State of Texas. TX-TF1 meets or exceeds most critical requirements for National US&R Task Forces; the team will be in a probationary period for one year while they fulfill all national requirements. The Task Force sponsor, Texas A&M University's Texas Engineering Extension Service, should be commended for supporting a first-rate urban search and rescue response capability for the citizens of Texas.
There are now 28 National Urban Search and Rescue task forces located across the continental United States trained and equipped by FEMA to handle structural collapse. They include local emergency services personnel from 19 states. Any task force can be deployed by FEMA to a major area disaster and provide assistance in structural rescue.