7/30/2007 12:00 AM
The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) conducted the Municipal Texas Fire Training School at Brayton Fire Training Field, July 22 to 27. The school was sponsored by the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas.
Two thousand volunteer firefighters and 300 guest instructors attended the week-long training session. While most students were from Texas, some groups traveled from as far as South Korea to attend.
"Participants at this year's Municipal Fire Training School will find new training props, including our new multipurpose structural burn complex and our multilevel chemical complex, which opened in 2006," said Les Bunte, director of TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute.
"One of the best training facilities in the world is in our back yard," Bryan Fire Chief Mike Donoho said. "TEEX has spent $26 million in construction out here and [Brayton Fire Training Field] has developed into a world-renowned school. This is my 30th year at Municipal Fire School, and I'm so glad to come out here every year."
Retired Round Rock Fire Department Battalion Chief and 25-year instructor, Roger Anderson said, "I appreciate that this type of facility is available to the fire service. The quality of training we give and have received in the past helps our careers. The training never stops, and that is what the fire service is about."
Firefighting, officer development, rescue, fire prevention and fire investigation were taught at this year's Municipal Fire Training School.
The firefighter training ranged from phases one through five. In phase one, first year students learned how to use equipment like the self-contained breathing apparatus and extinguish smaller fires, like car fires. Training becomes more technical in each phase.
First-time Municipal Fire School student, Scott Gagliardo of the Medina Lake Volunteer Fire Department said that his favorite part of the phase one course was the hands-on training.
The tuition for each course was $450 per person, but the Texas Forest Service offered scholarships to some students from rural volunteer fire departments.
TEEX also hosted an industrial school July 15-20 and a Spanish school the week prior.
Brayton Fire Training Field is a part of the Texas A&M University System and is the largest live-fire training facility in the world. The 120 acre facility has 132 training areas and 81,000 students a year from all over the globe. The training areas range from buildings to full-sized rail cars and an airplane fuselage.