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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M disaster team to train with task force

The Texas A&M Emergency Care Team will work alongside Texas Task Force 1, the state’s urban search and rescue team, and the Dallas Disaster Medical Assistance Team 4 during the task force’s annual training exercise at Disaster City in College Station, Saturday and Sunday.
Texas Task Force 1 was formed by the state in the wake of 1995’s Oklahoma City bombings. The task force consists of three teams with 80 volunteer members each. One of the teams will participate in the training.
Disaster City is a 52-acre urban search and rescue facility next to Easterwood Airport off Highway 60 west. It is the largest and most complex facility of its kind in the world.
The A&M ECT became involved at Disaster City when members of its team volunteered as “victims” in mock crises. After discussion with the staff of Disaster City and Texas Task Force 1, ECT was offered the chance to train alongside the professionals.
Brian Smith, public information officer for Texas Task Force 1, is a coordinator for the event. Smith, Class of 2002, said he is excited about this opportunity for the students on the ECT.
“College students will be working alongside and with the state’s premier urban search and rescue team,” Smith said. “As far as I know, this is the first time that an urban search and rescue team has paired up with a University care team. We’re creating history here.”
The training exercise will begin with a mock earthquake Saturday. The ECT will play the part of the Disaster City EMS and will be the first responders on the scene. They will begin patient assessment until the other groups arrive.
Texas Task Force 1 will arrive on call and begin to penetrate the buildings for survivors. The Dallas Disaster Medical Assistance Team will set up a disaster field hospital in the most-affected portion of the city. The ECT will continue their efforts by transporting the wounded to the field hospital.
Throughout this process, volunteers will play the part of “victims” in stages of need, including broken legs, open wounds and paralysis. The roles are crucial to the process, because they allow the teams to practice under stressful conditions.
“Specifically, they will be stressing the responders out,” Smith said. “Student volunteers will be creating chaos after the disaster.
“We could not do this without the Bryan-College Station community and A&M students to help us out.”

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