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For the first time in its 12-year history, the Crash Firefighting and Rescue Working Group (CFRWG) of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) convened outside of Europe and met in College Station. Its attraction to the small Texas city: the world-class training program and facilities of TEEX.

The CFRWG was created to improve the effectiveness of NATO forces by developing standards and addressing interoperability of crash, firefighting, and rescue on/in the vicinity of NATO airfields.

“It is an enormous honor to serve as the first host of this group on American soil,” said TEEX Director Dr. Kem Bennett. “The CFRWG has had an enormous interest in seeing the training programs and facilities we offer, and its annual meeting was the best time for its members to visit us.”

Thirty delegates from 11 countries met Oct. 29-30 for high-security, private meetings to discuss international fire and aircraft rescue issues. On Oct. 31, its third and final day in College Station, the group toured TEEX facilities.

“Between the Brayton Fire Training Field and Disaster City, we have the finest training facility in the world,” said Bennett. “And we are proud to share them with emergency professionals from around the globe.”

Disaster City is a state-of-the-art mini-city infrastructure that delivers realistic props for hands-on training. Props replicate a collapsed bridge, office complex, strip mall, public meeting facility, single family dwelling, apartment complex, industrial complex, transportation terminal, and water/wastewater facility.

“We can replicate virtually any disaster scenario needed for training. That’s what makes us unique,” said Rick Tye, Director of TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute. “Combine that with the best training available, and everyone benefits.”

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