The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication of the new H.D. Smith Operations Complex Sunday, March 4, at 2 p.m. at the Brayton Fire Training Field.
The two-story facility, which is being dedicated to long-time Chief Henry D. Smith, includes a welcome center, communications center/scenario observation area, and several large classroom areas.
Smith, of Bryan, led TEEX’s former Fire Protection Training Division from 1957 to 1986 and is credited for expanding the agency’s reputation internationally. Smith’s involvement with the fire service in Mexico and his commitment to addressing issues shared by firefighters on both sides of the Border led to the creation of TEEX’s training programs for Spanish-speaking firefighters in 1966.
Additionally, the Brayton Fire Training Field doubled in size to 120 acres during Smith’s tenure, leading to new training programs for industrial fire brigades, liquefied natural gas, hazardous materials and building code inspectors.
The Smith Operations Complex is part of a multi-million dollar infrastructure upgrade initiative at the Brayton Fire Training Field. Other recent projects include an enhanced chemical complex training prop, a two-story structural burn building and a state-of-the-art water/wastewater treatment system.
TEEX has conducted fire and rescue training at the Brayton Fire Training Field’s present location off Nuclear Science Road since 1960. Firefighter training in College Station began in 1929 when the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association selected Texas A&M as the site for a permanent firefighter training program.
A member of The Texas A&M University System, TEEX offers hands-on, customized training, technical assistance and emergency response services impacting Texas and beyond. Agency programs include fire services, homeland security, public safety and security, public works, safety and health, search and rescue and economic development.