Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sept. 11, 2010 - Texas Aggie Football Honors Texas Task Force 1 - First Responders Day

September 11th will always be a day of remembrance in America. In 2003, Texas specifically honored all those who gave their lives saving others when Texas House Bill 1937 designated September 11th of every year as Texas First Responders Day. This year, Texas A&M University has also chosen the occasion to honor current and former members of Texas Task Force 1 (TX-TF1) at the September 11, 2010, football game against Louisiana Tech, to be played at Kyle Field at 6 p.m.

Texas Task Force 1 is an Urban Search and Rescue response team designed to provide a coordinated response to disasters in urban environments. Born in February 1997 in response to the bombing of the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City, they are capable of responding to state, national and international disasters including earthquakes, hurricanes, widespread tornadoes, flooding and man-made terrorist events.

52-Acre Disaster City® Training Facility
The Task Force is comprised of 450 personnel including search and rescue, medical, hazardous materials, and weapons of mass destruction technicians representing numerous fire departments and organizations throughout the state. Based and trained at Texas Engineering Extension Service’s (TEEX) Disaster City® here in College Station, members must be available for deployment within four hours.

TX-TF1 has deployed to events close to home like the Aggie Bonfire collapse, as well as national disasters like the World Trade Center attack, the Space Shuttle Columbia recovery, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. When TX-TF1 travels, it takes more than 73,000 lbs. of equipment to the scene and can function for up to 10 days. The Task Force is designed to be logistically self-sufficient for the first 72 hours of operation.

On September 11, 2010, join thousands of Aggie fans in honoring these first responders and the families that support them when they are supporting us. Current and former members of the Task Force, sporting customized polo shirts for the occasion, will take the field before the game for an awards presentation. Following the ceremony, the TX-TF1 members and their families will sit together to enjoy some great Aggie football.

But the fun’s not all just on the field. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., you can find Task Force members at the TX-TF1 display in the Aggie Fan Zone on the north end of Kyle Field. Meet the team’s K-9 rescue dogs and check out one of the steel beams recovered from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. See many tools of the trade, special equipment and rescue cameras. And, the first 3,000 visitors will receive commemorative dog tags and everyone can enter for a chance to win an Emergency Preparedness Kit.

Don’t have tickets? TEEX and TX-TF1 have partnered to provide a pair of tickets to fans of TX-TF1’s Facebook page. Just “Like” TX-TF1’s Facebook page and make an appropriate comment in support of TX-TF1 or Aggie Football. You may also make your entry comments on the special Texas Task Force 1 & Aggie Football event page. That’s all there is to it! The contest ends on August 31, and the winner will be announced on Facebook and notified through their Facebook account on September 2.

To learn more visit the Texas Task Force 1 Website, or for interesting, timely updates on the Task Force, “Like” the Texas Task Force 1 Facebook page.

Sam White is a communications specialist and blogger for the Texas Engineering Extension Service and welcomes your comments. Know of something interesting happening at TEEX? Please submit blog ideas to sam.white@teexmail.tamu.edu.