1929 State Firemens’ and Fire Marshals’ Association selects Texas A&M as the site for a firemen’s training program.

1930 196 firefighters representing 76 Texas cities and towns attend the first annual school, two days of drills and ground practice.

1931 Texas Legislature authorizes an annual training school. H.R. Brayton, a chemistry professor, is named director.

1947 The Texas Firemen’s Training School is created when the Texas A&M annual on-site school merges with the Industrial Extension Service programs that train firemen across Texas. Training is held on campus and at Hensel Park just north of campus.

1948 The Industrial Extension Service becomes part of the new Engineering Extension Service.

1957 Henry Smith is appointed division head.

1960 Brayton Field is established on 26 acres west of campus

1962 Industrial School established.

1966 Spanish School established.

1970 The Recruit Training Program and Annual Municipal Inspection Training School are established.

1972 Brayton Field is expanded to 62 acres.

1975 Basic Marine Firefighting and Emergency Training course is added.

1981 Brayton Field nearly doubles in size with the addition of 60 acres.

1986 Charles L. Page is appointed division head.

1987 Brayton Field undergoes $250,000 in renovations and new construction, including a rescue tower, classroom computer graphics system and multi-level chemical complex.

1996 Charles L. Page retires and Dr. G. Kemble Bennett, director of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, is named interim head. His connections at the state and national level help the Division expand its focus from firefighter training to include other emergency response professions, paving the way to become the Emergency Services Training Institute in 2000.

1997 Rick L. Tye is appointed division head.

1998 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) establishes the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center, to train emergency responders to respond to nuclear, biological or chemical attacks by terrorists. Construction begins on a $70 million “Disaster City” and Emergency Operations Training Center adjacent to Brayton Field.

1998 Texas Task Force 1 is established as the first statewide Urban Search and Rescue Team. The team comprises 186 emergency services personnel from 48 organizations, divided into three 62-member teams. A $2 million cache of equipment is maintained at Brayton Field. 


  • The Fire Protection Training Division becomes the Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI).
  • The Center for Marine Training and Safety in Galveston becomes part of ESTI.
  • ESTI is accredited under the National Professional Qualifications System (Pro Board).
  • Texas Task Force 1 is named a FEMA team. 


  • Chief Les Bunte is appointed division head.
  • The American Council on Education reviews and approves several ESTI courses for college credit equivalency.

2004 The annual Municipal Fire Training School celebrates its 75th anniversary.

2005 New fire extinguisher refill facility opens. Over 12,000 fire extinguishers are filled each year.

2007 H.D. Smith Operations Complex and new Structural Burn Building open.


  • Process Complex Fires project with 40 leak points added.
  • New Wastewater treatment plant goes into service.

2009 HazMat Chemical Complex added – Project #31.

2010 2.3 square mile site-wide paving project completed.


  • Les Bunte retires and Robert Moore is selected as division director.
  • Brayton Fire Training Field more than doubles in size to 279 acres


  • The annual Industrial Fire Training School Celebrates it’s 50th anniversary.
  • Acquired 17.8 acres adjacent to Disaster City for new Rescue Campus bringing the total acreage to 296 acres
  • New Apartment/commercial/Retail Complex burn building opens.
  • Dock replacement at CMTS.
  • Online Recruit Fire Academy (FirefighterAcademy.com) added.
  • New Bulk Storage Fires burn prop opens.
  • Established the ESTI Preparedness Program
  • Integrated the Executive Programs and other EOTC-based programs into ESTI


  • Texas Engineering Extension Service becomes Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.
  • New Compressor Station Fires prop opens – Project 33.
  • Pat Barrett Bunker Gear Drying Facility opens – building #54.


  • Well Head Fire prop added – Project 67.
  • New engine for Marine Ship Engine Room Fires prop.
  • Infrastructure (Roadways, Utilities) added for new Rescue Campus.
  • New Rubble Pile and Professional Building prop opens in Disaster City.


  • $1,000,000 in improvements completed at Center for Marine Training and Safety (CMTS) in Galveston.
  • Crude by Rail prop opens – Project #64.
  • New Rescue classroom/office building opens.


  • Existing Rescue props in the #70’s area relocated to new Rescue Campus.
  • New Rescue tower opens.
  • The annual Spanish Fire Training School celebrates its 50th anniversary.
  • Recruit Program graduates its 150th Recruit Class.
  • New Tank & Dike Fires prop opens – Project #47.

2017 New SCBA building.

2018 New HazMat Protective Housing Project – Project #118.

Back to top