COLLEGE STATION – More than 3,600 firefighters battled blazes and a July heat wave to spend a week at the Brayton Fire Training Field, where responders from across the world come to gain hands-on experience through realistic, live-fire and rescue scenarios on full-scale training props.
Triple-digit temperatures did not dampen the enthusiasm of more than 2,700 firefighters and 916 guest instructors and safety officers who traveled to College Station for one of three, intensive weeklong schools this month.
The 89th Annual Municipal Fire School, held July 22-27, drew 1,601 firefighters for training in more than 30 areas. The most popular courses were Firefighting Phases I — V, Fire Instructor I, Emergency Medical Responder and Rescue III: Automobile Extrication. The majority of participants serve in small or volunteer fire departments, and represented 189 Texas counties this year. The school was hosted by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) in conjunction with the State Firefighters’ & Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas.
During the Municipal Fire School, hundreds of area citizens and families of Fire School participants watched on July 25 as TEEX instructors and students demonstrated firefighting skills and rescue techniques through dramatic scenarios on some of the world’s largest firefighting props.
The 56th Annual Industrial Fire School, held July 15-20, trained 713 members of industrial emergency response brigades and safety officers from some of the world’s largest oil & gas and chemical companies from 32 states and 17 countries. Training was conducted by TEEX staff and 267 guest instructors.
On July 8-13, 390 Spanish-speaking firefighters from 18 countries attended the 52nd Escuela para Bomberos en Espanol. Many traveled thousands of miles for a week of challenging training in firefighting, rescue and hazardous materials as well as instructor training — all conducted in the Spanish language. Nineteen courses were offered with the assistance of 156 guest instructors.
During each school, a solemn ceremony honored tenured guest instructors at the Fire Schools who died during the previous year. Each name is engraved on the Guest Instructors Memorial Wall at Brayton Fire Training Field as a lasting memorial to their dedication to the fire service and the Texas Annual Fire Training Schools.