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

Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) deployments may occur within the State of Texas at the request of the State or within the United States at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) US&R System. During US&R deployments, teams provide search, rescue, medical, and technical capabilities, as well as a wide variety of services dependent upon the event. Causes for entrapment may include a number of different events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and terrorist activities. 

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, the search area will be a mix of different types of geography, such as urban, rural, and wilderness. 

Water Rescue

Water Rescue deployments occur at the request of the State of Texas or through request from other states. Teams may respond in floodwater or swiftwater conditions to rescue, evacuate, or conduct welfare checks in response to heavy rains, severe weather, flash flooding, river flooding, hurricanes, or melting snow. Teams utilize flat bottom boats, inflatable rigid boats, or High Profile Vehicles (HPVs) to complete their mission. 

helicopter rescue

If a water rescue is time critical or cannot be accomplished by land or boat, TX-TF1 utilizes their partnerships with Texas Military Department (TMD) or the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in order to provide helicopter search and rescue resources to accomplish this mission by air. During a Helicopter rescue event, TMD provides helicopters and flight crew, while TX-TF1 provides rescue swimmers or rescue personnel to assist during a rescue. Helicopter Rescue deployments occur at the request of the State of Texas or through request from other states. Teams may also be used for reconnaissance or surveying of affected areas.

​​Mission ready packages

In the event that a full task force is not necessary, emergency managers may request a Mission Ready Package (MRP) from TX-TF1. MRPs allow a specific resource to respond to an incident, in instances when a full task force is not needed. MRP examples include a Search Team, Canine Teams, or Liaison Officers 

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 Department. 


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 does TX-TF1 get all of their 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.