Texas A&M: Texas A&M Task Force 1 Members Look Back On Working At Ground Zero

Three original members of Texas A&M Task Force 1 reflect on their deployment to Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City.

The elite urban search and rescue team — which had been responding to disasters in Texas for four years at the time — assigned 74 of its members to the World Trade Center buildings where they searched tirelessly through debris for victims.

It was their first federal assignment since being added to FEMA’s team several months earlier. TX-TF1, which is based in 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 from several longtime members of TX-TF1 :

Kem Bennett, an engineer who played a critical role in creating TX-TF1 and Disaster City while serving as A&M’s vice chancellor and dean of the College Of Engineering.
Chuck Jones, operations chief of TTF-1 who was the assistant fire chief in Grapevine in 2001.
Nim Kidd, now the chief over the Texas Division Of Emergency Management who 20 years ago was a part of the San Antonio Fire Department’s leadership. Kidd also is now the vice chancellor of disaster and emergency for the Texas A&M University System.