Pat Barrett, program manager with the Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI), has won the prestigious Regents Fellows Service Award from The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. The annual Regents Fellows award is the highest honor given by the Regents and recognizes senior-level professionals who have provided exemplary service not only to their university or agency, but also to the community, state, nation and world.
As manager of ESTI’s municipal firefighter training program and annual schools, Barrett coordinates training for firefighters from all over of the world, including the 1,700 fire departments and more than 35,000 firefighters in the state of Texas.
Barrett, who joined TEEX full-time in 1992, was recognized for his efforts to improve fire protection in Texas and to enhance the quality and accessibility of firefighter training. For example, he directed the effort to divide the 40-hour Firefighter Phase I and Firefighter Phase II classes over two weekends so firefighters could receive that training during an Area School without taking time off from their jobs or incurring extended travel expenses. This strategy helped increase regional training numbers by some 30 percent annually.
Barrett assisted with the development of Texas Task Force One and was one of its original members. He worked with the Department of Public Safety to revamp the state’s disaster response system, and helped develop the State Emergency Response Overhead Team, which assists communities following a disaster. His work with the Division of Emergency Management led to his participation on a number of statewide teams, including the State Catastrophic Overhead Team, the State Emergency Response Team and others.
“His efforts to protect the public health and safety of our citizens has been and will continue to contribute significantly to the legacy and impeccable reputation that the Texas Engineering Extension Service and Texas Task Force One has, not only within Texas but nationally and internationally as well,” said Jack Colley, state coordinator of the Division of Emergency Management. “He has made a difference in the lives of people in their most desperate hour of need.”
Former Gov. George W. Bush asked Barrett to serve on the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, which sets the requirements and training standards for Texas firefighters. Barrett also has worked with the National Fire Academy/U.S. Fire Administration and the Department of Homeland Security on the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Review Board since its inception in 2000. And he serves on the Texas Forest Service Rural Fire Advisory Board and the HB-2604 Training Implementation Subcommittee, which developed the plan to distribute $14 million in grants to rural fire departments each year.
A graduate of Sul Ross State University, Barrett has worked on several teams within TEEX, including the Brayton Field Development Team to plan the future of training facilities–something that he says will long outlive his career and improve firefighter training for many years to come.
“It is an honor to receive such a prestigious award from the Board of Regents,” said Barrett. “I consider this to be a team award and a tribute to TEEX for the outstanding service that all TEEXans provide for the state of Texas and beyond.”
Each Regents Fellow receives a monetary award, A&M System Medallion and a commemorative plaque. Previous TEEX recipients of the Regents Fellows Service Award include Teresea Madden-Thompson, Jack Pettyjohn, Jesse Watson and Jim Arnold.