COLLEGE STATION — Emergency responders in Conroe are learning essential Spanish keywords and phrases this week that will help them communicate with local Spanish-speaking citizens in an emergency situation.
The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is offering the free course through Friday to law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services personnel.
The 40-hour “Enhanced Spanish for Emergency Responders” course is designed to develop fundamental speaking and listening proficiency in the Spanish language as it applies to emergency situations. Responders learn cross-cultural communication styles and participate in interactive, practical scenarios and activities.
“The course is tuition-free and we hope it will enable communication between emergency response agencies and the Hispanic communities they serve,” said project coordinator John A. Orozco of TEEX’s Public Safety & Security. “By increasing their language capabilities and communication techniques, participants can save their agencies time and money that might have been spent locating an outside interpreter. More importantly, participants will be better prepared to do their jobs — preventing injuries and saving lives.”
Texas has 6.7 million Hispanic citizens, the second largest Hispanic population of any state. By 2030, it is estimated that 53 percent of the state’s population will be Hispanic.
The course qualifies participants for credit through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE), and continuing education units will be awarded to firefighters through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection and to EMS personnel.
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized training, exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond.