COLLEGE STATION – Almost 700 Spanish-speaking firefighters are here at the Brayton Fire Training Field for a week of challenging, intense training that covers topics from basic firefighting operations and hazardous materials incidents to rescue techniques and officer development. The 44th annual Spanish Fire Training School (Escuela para Bomberos en Espa?ol) classes began on Monday, July 12, and continue through Friday.
This year, 530 firefighters are attending one of 13 weekly courses conducted entirely in Spanish by 149 guest instructors and safety officers who volunteer to assist the staff of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
The classes are conducted at the Brayton Fire Training Field, which is operated by TEEX, and includes 132 realistic, full-scale training stations. These include 23 fueled, live-fire props and some of the world’s largest industrial props, all situated on a 120-acre emergency services training complex adjacent to Texas A&M University.
The following countries and territories are represented at the 2010 Spanish Fire School: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Spain, USA and Venezuela.
On Wednesday, instructors, firefighters and TEEX staff paused for a ceremony at the Guest Instructors’ Memorial Wall, which honors the memory of guest instructors who have taught during the Spanish, Industrial and Municipal Fire Schools throughout the years.
Public Demonstration in Spanish set for Thursday, July 15
To round out the week of training, a demonstration of hazardous materials decontamination and fire suppression techniques will be held Thursday evening, July 15, at Brayton Fire Training Field. The event is free and open to the public, and the moderator will describe the events in Spanish. Gates open at 7 p.m.