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COLLEGE STATION – The Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) held its first-ever NFPA 1006 Wilderness Search and Rescue certification course this month at the Brayton Fire Training Field, challenging participants through a combination of classroom sessions and extensive, outdoor hands-on experiences. The training prepares emergency response personnel to search for missing persons or downed aircraft in remote areas.

The Bryan Fire Department Technical Rescue Team attended the 60-hour pilot course and all 22 participants earned ProBoard certification. The class was led by Rescue Training Manager James Hyles, along with rescue instructors Mike Sangerman, Richard Pivonka, Mike Petty and Jeff Paul, all from TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute.

The 40 hours of field exercises were conducted on the wilderness portion of the newly acquired Brayton Fire Training Field property, and included a full-scale mock drill from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Feb. 2. Interim Bryan Fire Department Chief Randy McGregor and his Command Staff brought the Bryan Fire Department Mobile Command Unit to support the night operation and enhance the realism of the exercise, Hyles said.

“As the regional response team for search and rescue, The Bryan Fire Department gained incredible knowledge and experience from the recent Wilderness Search and Rescue course,” said Chief McGregor. “The NFPA 1006 Certification Course provided our rescue team with the most up-to-date search and rescue techniques in a real and challenging environment providing the most realistic training opportunity possible. James Hyles and his TEEX rescue instructors were extremely competent and professional in the delivery of the course. Our team is much better prepared to respond to similar incidents throughout our region because of this training.”

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Kathy Fraser

Director of Marketing and Communications

I really can’t find a least valuable part to this course. These three days brought many different groups and dept. and made them realize that if we are not all on the same page, then we will never achieve our goals.

— Managing Critical Incidents at Institutes of Higher Education
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