Board Members

Charlie Abney


Charlie Abney is our President. He is a Captain with the Dallas Fire Department, a Vice President of the Dallas Fire Fighters Association, and a Water Group Supervisor with the Texas A&M Task Force 1 water team. He has 13 years of fire service experience and has been with TX-TF1 since 2011. He is a swiftwater rescue instructor with TEEX, and swiftwater boat instructor with TX-TF1.

Charlie lives in McKinney, Texas, is married to his wife Alyssa, and has four children: Maddox, Cason, Rylie, and, Parker.

Chris Collier


Chris is the Director of Response for the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC) is responsible for planning and developing regional response plans, maintaining a fleet of critical regional response assets, working with multiple jurisdictions and agencies in disaster planning and response, and oversees the coordination of response resources to large scale incidents in the Southeast Texas region. He serves on various committees at the local, regional, and state level to include the Houston Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) program, as well as working with the Department of Homeland Security on multiple National project workgroups providing subject matter expertise. He Is a member of Texas Task Force - 1 (TX-TF1) Urban Search & Rescue team which is one of 28 Federal Teams under the DHS / FEMA National Response System holding the position of Logistic Team Manager. As well as a member of the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force having served as a Task Force Leader, Medical Incident Support Team Member, and Staging Manager.

Randi Brown


Randi was a member of Red Deer County Search and Rescue in Alberta, Canada for over 13 years spending 10 of those as a board member. She also served on numerous other Boards. These included Regional Board member, Zone Commander and on the National board of the Civil Air Search and Rescue (CASAR). A long with being a member of the Red Deer team she was a founding member of Canadian International Rescue Organization (CIRO) also serving as Director and sat on the Executive Board. During this time she deployed on several International events. These teams lead to several training opportunities to include Disaster City in College Station.

Being married to Keith Brown she understands the sacrifices that the families make when a component of Texas Task Force is deployed. Randi’s other disaster experience would lead her to work for TDEM as a State Volunteer Agency Liaison during the devastating floods in Wimberly Texas. Randi has three grown daughters, one granddaughter and works in Special education A / Adaptive Behavior for College Station ISD.

Travis L. Maher

Director US&R

Travis L. Maher is our Director for US&R. He is a Battalion Chief for the Austin Fire Department and a Task Force Leader with the Texas A&M Task Force 1 FEMA USAR team. He has 23 years of fire service experience and has been with TX-TF1 since 2001, when he first deployed to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. He is a rope, swiftwater rescue, and swiftwater boat instructor.

Travis is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program and has also earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University, Class of ‘96.

Keith Brown

Director Recognition

Keith is our Director of recognition. He served in the U.S. Army before starting his career in the fire service and has been with the Austin Fire Department for over 34 years. While working for AFD, he has been a member of Texas A&M Task Force 1 for almost 20 years, starting out as a Logistics Specialist. Since then, he has become a Logistics Manager, chair of the FEMA US&R equipment subgroup, and has recently helped design the computer-based training for the boat operator course. Keith is also a Water Group Supervisor for the Task Force water team.

Keith also stays busy teaching. He teaches swiftwater rescue, how to use high-profile vehicles during flood events, and boat operations. He has been a swiftwater boat operator for close to 30 years and is currently the lead boat evaluator for the TX-TF1 boat program.

Kevin Deramus

Director Water

Kevin currently serves as the Director of EMS for Washington County where he oversees both the EMS and the Office of Emergency Management. He has worked in numerous roles within emergency services including as a flight paramedic for Baylor Scott & White in Temple Texas for nearly 7 years, an adjunct instructor for Blinn College and TEEX Rescue School. He also currently serves on numerous local, regional, and state committees such as the Homeland Security Advisory Committee for the Brazos Valley COG, the Brazos Valley Regional Advisory Trauma Council where he is the presiding chair for the pre-hospital committee, currently serving an appointment on the Governors EMS & Trauma Advisory Council. Kevin also serves as a swift water rescue instructor for TEEX (Texas A&M) where he is a primary instructor for Level I and II swift water technician classes. Kevin currently serves as a swift water boat operator instructor for Texas Task Force 1 and a Water Group Supervisor.