Friday, March 5, 2010

TEEX Annual Fire Schools - A Hot Time in College Station

It's spring in College Station, and that means it’s time to begin our annual fire school season at the Brayton Fire Training Field. The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and the Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI) will be welcoming almost 300 firefighters from all over the world next week at our Annual Spring Fire Training School, which runs from March 7-12, 2010.

Spring school is always fun because it’s when we teach many of our specialty courses. When I became a firefighter back in 1978, we knew we were going to put out several structure fires every day. That's what firefighters did back then. Today when the bell sounds, the 21st-century firefighter faces a whole range of unique scenarios that require specialized training. We can show a participant the equivalent of five years of different fires and scenarios in just one week at our facility.
Some available courses for next week's Spring Fire Training School include:
  • CAFS - Compressed Air Foam Systems & Class “A” Foam
  • Firefighting and Officer Safety
  • Propane Emergencies
  • Rescue II Trench Rescue
  • Structural Firefighting
  • Firefighter Training/Intro to Wildland Fire Behavior
  • NIMS Incident Command System 300 & 400
  • Emergency Response to Rescue Operations (ERRO): New Vehicle Technology and Strategies
We have postponed some sections because of reduced enrollment caused by our slow economy. For this reason, it's important that fire administrators remember that funds are available for many of our courses under House Bill 2604, which the Texas Legislature passed to help Texas rural fire departments send their personnel to training. Departments can send up to 10 people to each school, and have their tuition and noon meal covered by the almost $23 million available in the program. For further information on applying for these funds, please visit the Texas Forest Service HB 2604 Web page, or our Funding and Grants Website.

We have another unique training event taking place
at the end of March in Austin, Texas. The 55th Annual Arson Investigator's Seminar will run from March 21-26, 2010, at the Omni Hotel. There is renewed interest in arson investigative procedures in Texas, and we are expecting peace officers from many state and national public and private agencies to attend. Participants will receive up-to-date information on fire-cause determination, arson investigation and prosecution, as well as technology that will aid them in protecting the citizens of Texas against arson.

On July 11-16, our "hot" summer schedule kicks in with TEEX's Spanish Fire Training School, or Escuela en Español. Over 800 personnel from 22 Spanish-speaking countries will descend on Bryan/College Station to train in their own language at TEEX's Brayton Fire Training Field. It is a unique opportunity to expose these firefighters to TEEX and The Texas A&M University System and is usually enjoyed by both participants and the local residents.
The Industrial Fire School follows from July 19-23, 2010, when 500-700 industrial fire and safety personnel will have the choice among a broad range of classes designed to address specific industry needs using the most advanced methodologies available in the fire training world. Our classes range from national certification courses (e.g., NFPA 1081, Standard for Industrial Fire Brigade, Professional Qualifications) to customized courses designed to meet the specific training needs of a client's industrial facility.
Finally, July 25-31, 2010, is our Municipal Fire School. This school brings over 2,400 fire prevention, suppression, control and safety personnel from municipalities, industries, state and federal agencies, as well as the armed services to Bryan/College Station for one week of training with our highly qualified and experienced instructors. Preceding the Municipal Fire School is our Annual Vendor Show, held at Texas A&M University's Reed Arena. With the biggest and best fire and rescue equipment in the world on display, the vendor show is a big hit with both fire school participants and the residents of the Brazos Valley.

In addition to the busy annual schedule, there are usually 200 fire service personnel training with us on any given week. Every year, over 54,000 personnel train at the Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station. These visitors stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and purchase our Texas, TEEX and Texas A&M souvenirs. I like to think that they leave Aggieland with the best training available anywhere in the world along with a good dose of Texas hospitality.
TEEX has been providing unsurpassed fire training for emergency responders since 1929, when the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas selected Texas A&M University as the site for a permanent firefighter training school. Worldwide, TEEX's Emergency Services Training Institute trains and touches over 81,000 personnel annually from all 50 states and 45 countries.
For further information on our programs or the Brayton Fire Training Field, please visit, or call us at 866-878-8900. We're going to have a “hot” time this summer, so come join us

Harvie Cheshire is coordinator for TEEX's annual fire schools.

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