Thursday, July 23, 2009

Annual fire schools are almost complete

Click on the photos to the left to see slideshows from Municipal Fire School.

With tomorrow being the last day of three consecutive weeks of TEEX annual fire schools, officials say it was one of the best ever.

“This has been smoothest and most efficient three weeks of instruction I’ve seen in the 15 years I’ve been associated with this school,” said Harvie Cheshire, TEEX Annual School Director said.

The Brayton Fire Training Field is active all year, but in the past three weeks it was littered with almost 4,000 students and volunteer instructors.

TEEX would like to thank all the volunteer instructors, the Bryan/College Station community and everyone who helped make this year’s schools a huge success.

See you next year!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday: A busy day from start to finish

Click on the photo to the left to see a slideshow from Wednesday at Municipal Fire School.

Wednesday was quite likely the busiest day of the year at Brayton Fire Training Field. The morning was filled with students receiving additional classroom or hands-on training, and then the entire field fell quiet during the noontime Guest Instructor Memorial Ceremony, which paid tribute to the 10 instructors who died since last year’s fire school. Their names are forever inscribed on the memorial wall near the front of the field.

But the most-exciting moments were during the evening, when instructors and students demonstrated firefighting techniques to a crowd of about 2,000. The fire props – simulating a variety of petrochemical plant scenarios – are among the largest in the world. The
props burned Wednesday evening were the Process Unit, Pump Alley, Aerial Cooler, Loading Terminal, Rail Tank Loading Rack, and multiple LPG scenarios.

Thursday will be the last full day of burning, and on Friday the tired 2,100 firefighters and 600 instructors will return home.

Video of the Public Demonstration:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday at Municipal Fire School

Click on the picture to the left to see a photo slideshow of Tuesday action at Municipal Fire School.
Severe weather threatened to halt mid-morning activities at Brayton Fire Field on Tuesday, but only light rain fell as the 80th annual Municipal Fire School continued without delay.

Special Guest: We were privileged to have a visitor today who was at the very first school back in 1929. Mr. Charles Stasny witnessed the first school at the age of seven as his father was the first paid firefighter in Bryan, Texas. You can read more about Stasny and his unique story in an upcoming edition of The Bryan/College Station Eagle.

Public Demonstration: On Wednesday, July 22, TEEX will host its annual Public Demonstration at Brayton Fire Training Field, which is also free to the public. Gates open at 7 p.m. and a children’s fire-awareness class begins at 7:30 p.m. Immediately following the awareness class, TEEX instructors will explain and demonstrate techniques used to extinguish fires on some of the largest live-fueled training props in the world.

Fire School Prop of the Day Video:

Monday, July 20, 2009

2,000+ Firefighters at Municipal School

Click on the photos to the left to see slideshows of pictures taken at Sunday's vendor show at Reed Arena and Monday action at the fire field.

The final week of the Texas Engineering Extension Service’s three weeks of summer fire training schools began today with 2,138 students and 456 guest instructors in attendance.

Last year, the Municipal Fire School drew 2,048 students.

In all, 37 different courses are being held this week, with some courses having multiple sections. Firefighting Phase I (399 students), Firefighting Phase II (303 students) and Firefighting Phase III (214 students) – which is equivalent to Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced coursework, respectively – are the most popular courses.

Other course topics include:
· Aircraft Emergencies
· Advanced Municipal Fire Operations
· Fire Investigation
· Compressed Air Foam Systems
· Emergency Care Attendant
· Pump Maintenance and Operations
· Fire Prevention
· Fire Service Officer Development
· Public Fire Educator
· Public Information Officer
· Telecommunications
· Rescue (Rope, Trench, Automobile, Ag and Confined Space)

Other Fire School Stats:
· Students From Texas: 2,101
· Students from USA: 2,127 (11 students are from Equatorial Guinea in Africa)
· Number of fire and volunteer fire departments represented: 609

PUBLIC DEMONSTRATION: On Wednesday, July 22, TEEX will host its annual Public Demonstration at Brayton Fire Training Field, which is also free to the public. Gates open at 7 p.m. and a children’s fire-awareness class begins at 7:30 p.m. Immediately following the awareness class, TEEX instructors will explain and demonstrate techniques used to extinguish fires on some of the largest live-fueled training props in the world.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why have fire school in the summer?

Click on the photos to the left to see two different slideshows of pictures taken Thursday at Industrial Fire School.

Yesterday we wrote about how hot it is during the annual summer fire training schools. We get the following question all the time. And it’s a good question.

Why does TEEX host the fire schools in the middle of the hot Texas summer?
Hopefully, the following will help clear the air.

In 1929, at the encouragement of State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association of Texas, the legislature selected Texas A&M for a permanent fire school. Originally, the fire school was operated by Texas A&M’s Chemistry Department headed by Col. H.R. Brayton, whom the current fire training field is named after.

A year later, the first annual school attracted 196 firefighters from 76 Texas towns and cities for two days of drills and ground practice. This school was held in the summer simply because the university students were gone and the dorms were available.

Today – 80 annual schools later – the schools are still held in the summer. According to Shannon Overby, Executive Director of the Bryan/College Station Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, having the schools in the summer is a good thing for the local economy.

“The Fire Schools that TEEX holds here in Bryan-College Station continue to make a significant economic impact on our community,” Overby said. “Even though it is hot, these classes were originally planned for a slow time in our community – fewer students, away from football games and major conferences. Having the classes in the summer also allows the firefighters to bring their families for a mini-vacation to enjoy Aggieland.”

Fire School Prop of the Day Video:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fire Pics and Video from Annual School

Click on the photo to the left to see a slideshow of pictures taken Wednesday at the Industrial Fire School.

Fires were blazing all over the Brayton Fire Training Field on Wednesday as the annual industrial school is in full swing.

The sun and heat continue to be unrelenting as temperatures again easily topped the 100-degree mark in College Station. The heat - coupled with the thick bunker gear the firefighters wear to fight the enormous fires and the physical nature of firefighting - makes safety and hydration a huge priority.

Water trucks are constantly refreshing water jugs at every station around the fire field and instructors and safety officers can continuously be heard telling students to make sure they are getting plenty of fluids.

According to Harvie Cheshire, Training Manager for Annual Schools, each project has an assigned safety officer and four roaming safety officers cross-check the field to keep track of the big picture. In addition, six licensed paramedics are on duty at the fire field.

When it’s this hot and this much demanding activity is taking place, you can never be too safe.
Fire School Prop of the Day Video:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Industrial School Pics and Video

Click on the photo to the left to see a slideshow of pictures taken Monday at the Industrial Fire School.

It was another scorcher at the Brayton Training Field Tuesday, with temperatures reaching easily into the low 100s.

Fire School Prop of the Day video:

Monday, July 13, 2009

Industrial fire school begins

Click on the photo to the left to see a slideshow of pictures taken Monday at the Industrial Fire School.

The second of three weeks of TEEX’s Annual Fire Training Schools is underway. This week’s instruction is geared toward firefighters from refineries and other industries from across the country.

In all, 466 students are at Brayton Fire Training Field for the week-long session.

An interesting thing about the majority of the firefighters here this week is that they are not strictly firefighters. Most of them have a totally separate job in the refinery or plant in which they work, but assume the role of firefighter when needed.

Fire School Prop of the Day video:

Courses being taught at Industrial School this week:

· Exterior Structural Firefighting for Industrial Brigades
· Interior Structural Firefighting for Industrial Brigades
· Fire Brigade Leadership
· Advanced Exterior Firefighting, Level II

Specialized Firefighting
· Industrial API Storage Tank Firefighting
· Industrial Fire Apparatus Practices I
· Industrial Fire Apparatus Practices II
· LPG Emergency Management
· Functions for Local Incident Management Teams

Professional Development
· Fire Instructor I
· Fire Instructor II
· Incident Safety Officer

· Rope Rescue Awareness and Operations
· Confined Space Rescue Technician
· Rope Rescue Technician

· Industrial Hazardous Materials Technician
· Industrial Hazardous Materials Transport Container Specialist

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spanish School wrapping up (Se termina la Escuela)

The first of the biggest three weeks on the training calendar at Brayton Fire Field is rapidly coming to a close. After the banquet tonight - and a few classes wrap-up on Friday - more than 415 firefighters from 18 Spanish-speaking countries countries will begin their journey back home. (Ya se acaba esta semana de cursos intensivos en el Campo Brayton de Capacitación para Bomberos. Después del Banquete de Gala que se ofrece esta noche, y algunas últimas clases en viernes, más de 415 bomberos de 18 países de habla hispana emprenderán el viaje de regreso.)

Check out some of the faces of the TEEX's 43rd Annual Spanish Fire School by clicking the image to the left. (Haz clic en esta imagen para ver una selección de los participantes en la 43ª Escuela de este año.)
More pictures from Thursday action at Spanish Fire School can be seen by clicking on the picture below. (Hay más fotos aquí – haz clic en la siguiente imagen.)

Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Training (Capacitación en rescate y combate de incendio para bomberos aeronáuticos)

Wednesday saw one of the biggest fires of the week at the Spanish Fire Training School. Check out the video of the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting class fighting a huge fire on the ARFF prop. (El miércoles los participantes presenciaron uno de los mayores incendios de la semana. Mira el video que documenta los bomberos aeronáuticos combatiendo un incendio enorme en la simulación de un avión en el Campo Brayton.)

Also, check out more pictures from this fire and other scenes from Wednesday at Spanish Fire School by clicking the photo below. (Haz clic en la siguiente foto para ver más imágenes de la Escuela.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Memorial kicks off day three of Spanish School (Se celebra el Servicio Conmemorativo durante la mañana del tercer día)

Click on the photo to the left to see a photo slideshow from the memorial. (Haz clic en la foto a la izquierda para ver las imágenes del Servicio.)

Each Wednesday during annual schools, the students and instructors take a break to honor guest instructors who have passed away during the previous year. (Se interrumpen los cursos para rendir homenaje a los instructores invitados que hayan fallecido durante el año anterior.)

Chief Les Bunte, Director of Annual Schools and TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute said during the ceremony: “Each year we gather here to honor and pay homage to those tenured instructors that have since passed during the last year. This wall was built to serve as a lasting tribute to their contributions to the fire services. The names inscribed on this wall are of those guest instructors - including Spanish instructors - who have served at this school for more than 10 years.” (El Jefe Les Bunte, Director de la Escuela, dijo durante la Ceremonia: “Todos los años nos juntamos aquí para rendir homenaje a los Instructores que fallecieron durante el último año. Este muro fue construido como tributo perdurable a su contribución. Los nombres inscritos en este muro son de los Instructores Invitados, incluyendo los de esta Escuela para Bomberos Hispanos, que habían servido en dicha capacidad por más de 10 años.”)

The following names were read: (Se leyeron los siguientes nombres:)
· Oland E. Mays
· E.F. “Woody” Sevison
· Mike B. Perez, Jr
· Donald Eernisse
· Gene Puckett
· Isidore O. Martinez
· Danny Ivy
· Frank J. Gallaway, Jr.
· Steve Schultz
· Elias Chahin S.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday at Spanish Fire School (El martes en la Escuela para Bomberos Hispanos)

Click on the picture to the left to see a slideshow of Tuesday's action at the Spanish Fire School. (Haz clic en la foto para ver una serie de imágenes de la Escuela durante la jornada del martes.)

Watch the following video of Spanish Fire School students extinguishing a fire at the jet engine prop. (En el video se puede apreciar la acción dramática que se produce cuando los bomberos aeronáuticos combaten un incendio en avión.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

TEEX Spanish Fire School gets started (Se inaugura la Escuela TEEX para Bomberos Hispanos)

Cloudy skies and lower-90s may not sound like glorious weather for fighting fires, but it’s welcomed change from last week’s temperatures that shattered the century mark. (Tal vez un cielo nublado y temperaturas que se aproximan a 40 grados no parezcan condiciones ideales para combatir incendios, pero todo es relativo, y resultan ser un alivio comparadas con las de la semana pasada, cuando alcanzaron niveles sofocantes.)
On Monday, several hundred Spanish-speaking firefighters from 18 different countries began the 43rd annual Spanish Fire School at
Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station. These “bomberos” learn skills ranging from basic firefighting operations to officer development, and are taught by volunteer instructors exclusively in Spanish. Many of these international firefighters rely solely on their personal savings and dedication to journey to this world-renowned school. (Este lunes llegaron cientos de bomberos hispanohablantes de 18 países para participar en la 43ª Escuela Anual para Bomberos Hispanos en el Campo Brayton de Capacitación, sede de la agencia TEEX de la Universidad de Texas A&M, en College Station, Texas. Aquí, estos bomberos aprenden habilidades de todo tipo relacionados con el combate de incendio y el desarrollo profesional. Los cursos están dictados exclusivamente en español por instructores voluntarios. Muchos de los participantes, inspirados por la pasión que sienten por su vocación, se valen de sus propios recursos personales para financiar el viaje a esta Escuela de renombre mundial.)
Countries represented at the 2009 Spanish Fire School are: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, USA, Venezuela and, for the third consecutive year, the Republic of Guinea (West Africa).
(Este año han venido representantes de los siguientes países: Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, República Dominicana, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico, España, USA, Venezuela y, por tercera vez, la República de Guinea Ecuatorial (África Occidental).)

Photos from Day-1: (Fotos del primer día:)