COLLEGE STATION — Pat Barrett’s heart belonged to his family, his country, and to firefighters in the great state of Texas. The Pat Barrett Fire School Scholarship established by his wife, Janet, and his family, will honor the long-time champion and friend of the state’s firefighters by helping others attend the fire school he dearly loved. Initially funded at $25,000, the endowment will provide scholarships to cover part of the costs students pay to attend the recruit academy, or other training programs at the Brayton Fire Training Field.
Barrett managed municipal firefighter training programs and annual schools at Brayton, which is operated by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), from 1992 until his sudden death in 2010.
“At Pat’s memorial, I heard over and over from firefighters that Pat was their hero. But the volunteer firefighters of the state of Texas were Pat’s heroes,” Janet said. “I know Pat would want this as part of his legacy.”
Recipients of this scholarship will become part of the Texas fire service history, said Robert Moore, Interim Division Director of Emergency Services Training Institute, which operates the fire school. “The Pat Barrett Scholarship is a great opportunity for a student who might not otherwise be able to receive the highest quality training which Pat was instrumental in developing,” he said.
Barrett was especially devoted to the state’s volunteer firefighters who selflessly serve their neighbors and communities. He received the prestigious Regents Fellow Service Award from The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in 2003 for his exemplary service to improving fire protection for the citizens of Texas through enhancing the quality and accessibility of firefighter training across the state.
Moore said, “When I think about the fire service of the state of Texas a vision comes to my mind and there is Pat Barrett. Pat exemplified what a firefighter in the state of Texas should be. He was the type of man who always exhibited the brotherhood that is embedded in the fire service and was always willing to lend a helping hand, give a smile, and a offer warm welcome.”
Barrett was one of the original members and assisted in the development of Texas Task Force 1 the statewide urban search and rescue team. He also served on the Texas Commission on Fire Protection, the Texas Forest Service Rural Fire Advisory Board, and was serving as 4th vice president of the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas at the time of his death.
“This scholarship is a lasting tribute to Pat, and reflects the impact he had on our community, our state, and all of us who loved and respected him,” Janet said. “The world lost a vibrant man, and this is one way we can keep his memory alive.”
The Pat Barrett Fire School Scholarship has been established at the Texas A&M Foundation. Allocations are planned to begin in 2012, and selections will be made by committee.
Memorial contributions can be given online at givenow.tamu.edu, or mailed to the Texas A&M Foundation, Attn: Jennifer Hester, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840, with a reference on the memo line to the Pat Barrett Fire School Scholarship. For more information on how to contribute, contact Jennifer Hester at 979-862-1872.
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises major gifts and manages endowments for the sole benefit of Texas A&M University.