The international reputation of TEEX’s fire training reaches many corners of the globe, not the least of them, the coastal city of Bintulu, Malaysia. Officials with Bintulu Emergency & Safety Training Center first called on TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute (ESTI) five years ago, seeking advice on the construction of a fire training facility.
Once the facility was built, they continued to work with the TEEX International Programs office with the goal of becoming an international Cooperative Learning Center (CLC) and bringing TEEX training there. A major Malaysian industrial center and port, Bintulu is home to a large liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex.
International Training Director Brian Freeman said becoming a TEEX CLC involves a lengthy process that includes extensive research, an in-depth site visit and a 200- to 300-page comprehensive report to the ESTI management team for a final decision. Bintulu achieved CLC status in 2013.
And last fall, TEEX instructors traveled to Bintulu where they conducted 34 days of emergency response training in hazmat, fire, confined space and rescue topics. The courses were the first TEEX courses offered in Malaysia, Freeman said. (In photo, Elizabeth Morris of TEEX poses with a HazMat Operations student in Bintulu. TEEX HazMat classes were the first ProBoard deliveries in Malaysia. )
“We don’t do international deliveries until there has been an intensive inspection of the facility,” Freeman said. “We examine and evaluate the training props, water supply, water flow, safety procedures and standards, PPE, EMS and medical protocols, parking, restrooms and more. Our goal is that the training students receive at a TEEX CLC will duplicate what they could receive here at Brayton Fire Training Field. We are committed in ensuring the student’s experience exceeds their expectations.”
To ensure that the CLC instructors have the skills necessary to teach a specific course, they must have completed a TEEX training program at least one level above the course they are authorized to teach. All CLC curriculum also must be TEEX-approved, he added.(In photo at left, Dave Tritch delivers a rescue class in Malaysia.)
“The TEEX brand is huge internationally and it’s well-known and respected,” said Chris Framsted, International Training Coordinator. “You can’t walk into a firehouse in the world where they haven’t heard of us. Someone there will know TEEX. And all of our training meets the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) standard, which is recognized across the world.
“We don’t seek out international CLCs, and we’re not trying to establish a foothold in another country,” Framsted added. “The goal is to be able to offer some of our basic training close by for international students who can’t afford to fly here. It is a very selective process and a huge investment for an organization seeking CLC approval.”
Currently, TEEX has six international CLCs. In addition to Bintulu, Malaysia, CLCs are operated in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama and Mexico. TEEX is negotiating with organizations in three additional countries. Each CLC is subject to an annual inspection and contracts must be renewed each year.
“Our CLCs are a direct reflection on our agency, so we hold them to the same high standards as they would have here at a TEEX facility,” Freeman added. Read Fire and Rescue article about TEEX CLCs