TEEX Annual Fire Schools About to Start

The three busiest weeks on the calendar of the Texas Engineering Extension Service are coming up this month.

College Station, Texas in July -- what's not to like? Thousands of emergency responders from Texas and numerous other states are heading there later this month to attend three annual fire schools offered by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX): the Spanish Fire School (July 8-13); the 50th Annual Industrial Fire Training School (July 15-20); and the 83rd Annual Municipal Fire School (July 22-27).

"Generally, the fire schools are full. That's the absolute busiest weeks of the year," said Will Welch, TEEX communications manager.

More than 2,500 firefighters attended the 2011 Municipal Fire Training School at Brayton Fire Training Field, taking courses in firefighting, fire department pump operations, fire investigator, fire instructor, rescue, and more from some 500 guest instructors and safety officers, according to TEEX. It was hosted by TEEX in conjunction with the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas.

The first Municipal Fire Training School was held in 1930, and it is the largest of the three summer fire schools held at Brayton each year. The 2011 Industrial Fire School was attended by 611 members of industrial emergency response brigades and safety officers from companies that included Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Shell, BP, Valero, Marathon, Dow, DuPont, and more. Students came from 11 countries to attend one of 18 courses offered, which were taught with the assistance of 211 guest instructors. The most popular course was NFPA 1081 Exterior Fire Brigade Training. The 2011 Spanish Fire School (Escuela para Bomberos) attracted 670 Spanish-speaking firefighters from 17 countries, and 174 guest instructors and safety officers.

This year's Industrial Fire Training School includes 20 courses on topics including advanced exterior firefighting, fire brigade leadership, LPG emergency management, incident safety officer, rope rescue, confined spaces, hazardous materials transport, and -- new this year -- OSHA general industry (OSHA 511) oil and gas emphasis.

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