7/12/2011 12:00 AM
More than 630 Spanish-speaking firefighters from around the world have begun a week of challenging, intense training at the world-renowned Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station. The firefighters come from more than 15 countries and are in enrolled in weeklong courses offered this year at the 45th annual Escuela para Bomberos en Espa?ol. Enrollment is the highest since 2008.
The 15 courses in firefighting, rescue and hazardous materials response are being taught entirely in Spanish by 173 guest instructors and safety officers who volunteer their time to assist the staff of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).
In addition to the United States and Puerto Rico, firefighters attending the school come from Central and South America, Europe and Africa. Countries represented include: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain, Venezuela and Equatorial Guinea (West Africa.)
While many of the participants are sent to the school by their employers, others rely only on their personal savings and dedication to journey to the one-of-a-kind school.
On Wednesday, July 13, firefighters will pause at 8 a.m. to remember 10 tenured guest instructors who have taught during the Spanish, Industrial and Municipal Fire Schools throughout the years. Each year, the late guest instructors are honored and their names are engraved on the Guest Instructor Memorial Wall at the Brayton Fire Training Field.
On Thursday, July 14, a public demonstration of hazardous materials decontamination and fire suppression techniques will be held. Gates open at 7 p.m.
Note: Narration will be entirely in Spanish.
The 279-acre Brayton Fire Training field, which is operated by TEEX, includes 132 realistic, full-scale training stations. These include 23 fueled, live-fire props and some of the world’s largest industrial props.