COLLEGE STATION – The TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute’s International Team recently hosted 23 distinguished guests from Japan for a tour of the Brayton Fire Training Field, Emergency Operations Training Center, hazmat training area and Disaster City?. This delegation was led by the Japanese Firefighters Association President Toshifumi Akimoto and Chief Fire Inspector Hiroshi Fukuchi.
The delegation was introduced to TEEX through the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and toured the TEEX training grounds to ascertain a possible emergency response training provider for a potential workforce of nearly 1.8 million responders, most of these being volunteers, said Brian Freeman, International Training Director with ESTI. “This would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of both Mike Wisby and Dallas Renfrew, as well as other ESTI personnel who helped make this visit a huge success,” he added.
Chris Barron and Pat Hlavaty of the State Firemen’s & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas accompanied the tour group together with members of the NVFC, led by Executive Director Heather Schafer. Their main topic of discussion for this tour was disaster management and response dealing with natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, and how TEEX can help in this effort through training.
The group met with Chief Robert Moore and other ESTI personnel over a traditional Texas barbecue lunch. Afterward, the group assembled at the Guest Instructors Memorial Wall for one-minute of silence to remember those firefighters who perished on March 11, 2011, during the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Japan lost 23 career and 252 volunteer firefighters that day.
Before the group departed, Moore presented President Akimoto with a firefighter’s helmet and awarded him the position of a guest instructor, Freeman said.
“One thing is for certain, no matter where firefighters live or work around the globe, whether they are Industrial, volunteer or full-time responders, we are all a brotherhood and share the same values and the determined mindset to save lives,” Freeman said.