COLLEGE STATION – Cooler than usual weather fueled some hot training at the July Fire Training Schools, which concluded on July 25 with the 85th Annual Municipal Fire Training School. This year, the Municipal Fire School drew 1,762 students and 533 guest instructors and safety officers.
The students, many from volunteer fire departments, came from 529 Texas cities and 184 counties, as well as from 14 other states and two other countries, Oman and Mexico. The school is hosted by TEEX in conjunction with the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas.
Thirty-seven courses were delivered with the assistance of the guest instructors who volunteer their time and expertise to ensure every firefighter is well-prepared and ready to respond when the alarm sounds. Courses offered for the first time at the Municipal School included “Industrial Emergencies for Municipal-Based Responders” and “NFPA 1041 Instructor II.”
On July 13-18, the 52nd Industrial Fire School attracted 688 industrial firefighters and safety officers. Attendees were members of industrial emergency response brigades and safety officers from some of the world’s largest oil & gas and chemical companies from 30 states and 12 countries. Twenty-one courses were offered with the assistance of 231 guest instructors. Courses covered Industrial firefighting, rescue, hazardous materials, specialized operations and professional development.
The 48ª Escuela para Bomberos en Español on July 6-11 drew 649 students from 17 countries for a week of challenging training in firefighting, rescue and hazardous materials as well as instructor training — all conducted in the Spanish language. Seventeen courses were offered with the assistance of more than 195 guest instructors. This year, the largest contingent came from Mexico, followed by Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. Besides attendees from Latin America and the U.S., there were 12 students from Spain.
During each school, a solemn ceremony honored 16 tenured guest instructors at the Fire schools who died during the previous year. Each name is engraved on the Guest Instructors Memorial Wall at the Brayton Fire Training Field.
On the evening of July 23, hundreds of area citizens and families of school participants watched as TEEX staff and guest instructors demonstrated firefighting skills and rescue techniques through dramatic scenarios on some of the largest firefighting props.
“We are pleased to conclude another successful series of Annual Texas Fire Schools, an 85-year-old tradition that keeps getting better,” said Harvie Cheshire with the TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute. “We are looking forward to an even better Annual Schools Program in 2015.”