Three original members of the Texas A&M Task Force 1 reflect on its deployment to Ground Zero following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City.
The elite urban search and rescue team, which had been responding to the Texas disasters for four years, assigned 74 of its members to the World Trade Center buildings, where they searched tirelessly through the wreckage for the victims.
It was his first federal assignment since he joined the FEMA team a few months earlier. TX-TF1, based at College Station, is sponsored by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and is under the direction of the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM).
Earlier this week, KAMU-TV captured 9/11 accounts of several longtime TX-TF1 members:
- Kem Bennett, an engineer who played a critical role in the creation of TX-TF1 and Disaster City while serving as vice president of A&M and dean of the College Of Engineering.
- Chuck Jones, TTF-1 chief of operations who was Grapevine’s deputy fire chief in 2001.
- Nim Kidd, now the head of the Texas Emergency Management Division who 20 years ago was part of the leadership of the San Antonio Fire Department. Kidd is also now the vice president of disasters and emergencies for the Texas A&M university system.