COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – On Thursday, July 6, more than 300 people came to Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station as Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) celebrated the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Les W. Bunte Jr. Administration and Classroom Complex.
The first level of the 38,692-square-foot building houses an interactive lobby, adjustable classroom pods with interactive learning technology, an EMS pod, a recruit pod and a gift shop. Staff offices are located on the second floor, along with a computer lab and parents’ room. The new classrooms seat up to 660 students, more than doubling the previous capacity.
The building is named for Chief Les W. Bunte Jr., a long-time leader in the Texas fire service. Chief Bunte started his career with the Austin Fire Department (AFD) in 1973 and was promoted through the ranks, serving as assistant chief from 1994-2002. While a full-time firefighter with AFD, he also led the Georgetown Fire Department, serving as their fire chief from 1977 to 1994.
In addition to his impact on the state of Texas, Chief Bunte also made significant contributions to TEEX, beginning as a guest instructor at TEEX’s Annual Municipal Fire Training School in 1976. In 2003, after he retired from AFD, he was appointed division director of Fire and Emergency Services at TEEX, where he served until 2011.
Under Chief Bunte’s leadership, TEEX’s Fire Training School became increasingly focused on its core values and identity. As Chief Bunte recognized the importance of certification for firefighters, he enhanced and developed new certification programs. Moreover, he identified leadership as another critical area for the fire service and worked to create the first annual Leadership Development Symposium in 2009. The symposium now attracts more than 1,000 leaders in all areas of emergency services. The new building is a testament to Chief Bunte’s leadership and dedication to TEEX and the Texas Fire Service.
The TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field is located near the Texas A&M University campus. Established in 1929 and expanding over the years, it is part of a 297-acre facility that attracts more than 45,000 emergency responders annually for training in firefighting, rescue, emergency medical services and hazardous materials.
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Vita Vaughn | Director of Marketing and Communications/CMO