TX-TF1 personnel are trained to the highest standards and are able to mobilize by ground within four hours of an activation and six hours if they travel by military or commercial aircraft. With a state of the art equipment cache, TX-TF1 is able to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours of operation. In addition, they are able function for up to 14 days during an incident with some outside support.

TX-TF1 has a number of different capabilities regarding the response aspect of a disaster. Below is a list of the capabilities of TX-TF1. 

Urban Search and Rescue

TX-TF1 is one of 28 Federal Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams. During a US&R deployment, TX-TF1 primarily focuses on the location, rescue (extrication), and initial medical stabilization of individuals in confined spaces. Some examples of US&R deployments include Hurricane Katrina, September 11 terrorist's attacks, as well as the Aggie Bonfire Collapse. 

wide area search

A wide area search deployment involves responders conducting searches of a wide area due to natural disasters or man-made incidents. During this type of deployment, they will typically have mixed geography of the area searching, such as urban, rural, and wilderness. An example of a wide area search deployment would be the 2013 deployment to Morre, Oklahoma, which occurred after an EF-5 tornado struck the city. 

Water Rescue

​​In 2000, more than three hundred responders formed and joined the nation's first statewide water rescue team. The water rescue team can be ready to deploy within one hour of notification across the state of Texas. TX-TF1 has members trained to complete searches and rescues in either floodwater or swiftwater.

helicopter rescue

​​​If a rescue is time critical or cannot be accomplished by land or water, TX-TF1 utilizes their partnership with Texas Military Forces in order to provide helicopters for the Helicopter Search and Rescue Team (HSART) to accomplish this mission by air. TX-TF1 and Texas Military Forces aviation units have been partnering for over ten years providing cooperation that saves lives. During a Helicopter rescue event, Texas Military Forces provides helicopters and flight crew, while TX-TF1 provides rescue swimmers or rescue personnel to assist during a rescue. Overall, TX-TF1 has 28 personnel trained and equipped for both water and land based rescues. ​

​​single resource sharing

​​In the event that a full task force is not necessary, emergency managers may request a single resource from TX-TF1. In a number of instances, TX-TF1 canine handlers have been requested to assist with a number of different deployments. Some examples include the Mudslides in Oso, Washington in 2014, and the Joplin, Missouri tornado in 2011.​

About Us

TX-TF1 functions as one of the 28 federal teams under the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue System and as a statewide urban search and rescue team under direction of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. TX-TF1 also coordinates the state's swiftwater rescue program and the Helicopter Search and Rescue Team which works in conjunction with Texas Military Forces. 


Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs) provide support and guidance to the management, staff, and members of TX-TF 1. They define what is expected and required of personnel during both emergency response and non-emergency activities. ​​


Where do we get all of the TX-TF1 members?

Although many of our members are firefighters with volunteer and career departments, TX-TF1 is comprised of many individuals from various professional backgrounds such as fire, police, IT support, and petroleum engineers. TX-TF does not pull personnel from just a single department or organization, but rather from over 60 agencies and companies throughout Texas. This unique blending of professionals from across the spectrum provides TX-TF1 with a broad array of experiences and ideas when the Task Force is asked to help those in need.