Airport safety is a major concern, and at TEEX, providing the most realistic training possible to airport rescue firefighters has never been more important.
A new $250,000 aircraft rescue and firefighting prop at Brayton Fire Field in College Station gives aircraft rescue firefighters the opportunity to fight real fires, not simulated propane fires, says Harvie Cheshire, program coordinator with the TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute. When these firefighters come to TEEX for training, they get to fight actual liquid fuel fires that are the largest of their type in the country, he added.
A liquid fuel fire has its own behavior, Cheshire said, and the firefighters actually have to suppress the fire. A propane fire, in contrast, will go out when a firefighter hits the sensor, he said.
The new aircraft rescue firefighting prop at the Brayton Fire Field includes a 72-foot fuselage with first class and coach sections, bi-level wings with a 75-foot wing span, a tail section and a cockpit. The prop is surrounded by a 5,200 square foot, beveled spill area. It is capable of supporting a variety of scenarios, including galley, cabin and storage fires, as well as integrated fire suppression and rescue drills.
“We have the largest pit fire for firefighter training in the country,” Cheshire said. The pit fire at the aircraft prop can range from 5,200 square feet to 8,400 square feet, he added.
The word is getting out about TEEX aircraft rescue training and the new prop, Cheshire said. Aircraft rescue firefighters from Fort Worth, Houston, Phoenix and El Paso are coming to TEEX for their training as are many firefighters from smaller regional airports in Texas and neighboring states. More than 500 firefighters have been trained on the prop since January 2002.