Emergency response professionals train at Texas A&M University football field, gaining real-world experience with rope rescues

man zip lining to save a person stuck in the air over a stadium

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – Kyle Field is a place typically reserved for Texas A&M University football and large game-day crowds, but on Wednesday and Thursday, May 4 and 5, first responders used the facilities for emergency response training that will benefit communities.

Professionals from Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and students in an advanced rope rescue course used the football stadium to practice high-level rope rescue exercises. Rescuers had to figure out where they could set up the equipment needed to rescue mannequins suspended in the stadium. First responders commonly use these techniques in disasters like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes or construction accidents.

Man propelling down a wall

TEEX Rescue Training Manager Matt Young explains the importance of being in Kyle Field for the exercises, saying, “Our props at TEEX facilities are designed to be used for training, but a football stadium is not. Being in Kyle Field will present some unique challenges that may not arise in a manufactured training environment.”

The class consisted of emergency response professionals, many of them municipal firefighters from around the US and the world, who came to TEEX to learn these advanced techniques.

One trainee, Wallad Haimdoun, works for a mining company in Mauritania, Africa, and came to TEEX for a series of classes. He said, “The training I received here will serve my company, my team members, my neighbors, friends if they are interested, even people living in a different village. I can come to them to teach them because every time we hear of someone who needs help.”

Man saving person in basket in the air

Shannon Mauras, a firefighter with the College Station Fire Department and a volunteer firefighter in Brazos County, said she came to TEEX for training because “TEEX has a world-renowned reputation, and they uphold that reputation. The instructors have a lot of real-life experience, they’re excited about what they teach, and they bring a lot to the table. They will bring in the best of the best to teach the classes.” Mauras explains that for this ropes course, TEEX experts taught “all this really cool stuff out at Kyle Field. They are cutting edge, constantly building new curriculum to make sure first responders are ready for today’s world. I really appreciate that we are getting up-to-date training with people who have been in the job a long time and are passionate about it.”

As Haimdoun put it, “I am fighting to get this certification. Why? Because I know I will save a life somewhere, and someone I am teaching it to will save a life somewhere.”

Distributed by:
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Vita Vaughn | Director of Marketing and Communications/CMO
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