6/30/2006 12:00 AM
COLLEGE STATION – Thousands of firefighters from across the globe will travel to Texas this July to participate in the nation’s premier fire training schools at the world’s largest live-fire fueled training facility – The Brayton Fire Training Field.
Hosted by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), the schools include the 40th Annual Spanish Fire Training School, July 8-14; the 44th Annual Industrial Fire Training School, July 16-21; and the 77th Annual Municipal Fire Training School, July 23-28. TEEX is a member of The Texas A&M University System.
The Spanish Fire Training School is expecting nearly 600 Spanish-speaking firefighters from more than 15 nations worldwide to participate in classes ranging from basic firefighting operations to officer development. The firefighters will learn from the experience and knowledge of approximately 200 volunteer instructors – teaching only in Spanish. The firefighters travel to College Station from as far away as South America and Europe, with many relying only on their personal savings and dedication to journey to the world-renowned school.
The Industrial Fire Training School begins the following week, when more than 500 firefighters and safety personnel will obtain the latest industrial firefighting and hazardous material control certifications as prescribed by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA standards are recognized internationally for firefighting and hazardous material control qualifications and are the foremost education standards in emergency response.
The last of the three annual firefighter training schools, the Municipal Fire Training School, will include more than 2,500 firefighters and 500 guest instructors from throughout Texas and the nation. This is the largest school of its kind in the world, attracting firefighters from the state’s smallest volunteer fire departments to those serving the largest metropolitan areas. Courses include basic and advanced firefighting, fire prevention, rescue operations, fire officer development, aircraft firefighting and emergency service, dispatch.
All of the hands-on training is provided by guest instructors who donate their time, services and travel expenses to ensure that firefighters are adequately prepared to respond to a wide range of emergency situations. It is not uncommon for guest instructors to have taught at the Municipal School for more than 40 years.
School registration and an emergency response trade show will kick off the Municipal School’s events on Sunday, July 23 at Texas A&M University’s Reed Arena. The trade show is one of the nation’s largest and includes the latest fire trucks, firefighting equipment and related products and equipment.
The first Municipal School was held in 1930 as part of the Texas A&M University chemistry department and attracted 196 firefighters representing 76 cities and towns. The following year the Texas Legislature authorized Texas A&M to create and operate a permanent firefighter training school in College Station.
Shortly thereafter, TEEX was formally established, and the agency is now recognized as the world’s premier emergency services training institute. Each year, TEEX trains more than 80,000 firefighters and emergency responders from throughout Texas, all 50 states and more than 40 countries.
TEEX is continuing to remain at the helm of the fire training industry with more than $25 million in construction projects completed or underway including a new chemical refinery burn training facility, a structural burn complex, a liquefied natural gas training facility and the Henry D. Smith Operations Complex, which will house a welcome center and state-of-the-art classrooms.
TEEX offers hands-on, customized training, technical assistance and emergency response services impacting Texas and beyond. Agency programs include fire services, homeland security, public safety and security, public works, safety and health, search and rescue and economic solutions.