TEEX hosts 92nd annual Municipal Fire School for first responders across Texas
Weeklong training event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service began its 92nd annual Municipal Fire School Sunday with a vendor show at Reed Arena.
The training event brings in well over 1,000 first responders to Bryan-College Station each year and teaches them how to better protect their communities after completing their weeklong course load. Sunday’s show featured some of the newest firefighting technology from the heaviest-duty fire engines to hazmat suits, masks, and breathing tanks.
Gordon Lohmeyer is TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute division director.
“It focuses of course on those core competencies - fire rescue, hazmat, and EMS - but it also goes beyond that into leadership, officer development, and investigator,” Lohmeyer said. “A comprehensive skill set is facilitated this week.”
The school is offering roughly 30 different courses this year, a few of which got started Sunday. The bulk of them will begin Monday at the TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field and wrap up by Friday.
Lohmeyer says he’s thrilled to have this training event back after it was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. He says the need for new skills for first responders never stops, even when those skills are most valued hundreds of miles away as massive wildland fires continue to burn in the western part of the country.
“This week we’re actually facilitating an S130/190 class, so it’s a wildland firefighting class,” Lohmeyer said. “The class is full. The need is there. Wildland firefighting is always on our minds.”
Over $660,000 of state grant money provided by House Bill 2604 and the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System is making it possible for roughly 75% of the school’s students to participate in the training courses. Those beneficiaries represent at least 242 departments statewide, like the Northeast Volunteer Fire Department in Midland.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to come out and learn,” Midland firefighter Alyssa Ashmore said. “We’re really excited, and this is the first year that our department is getting to come out here. My assistant fire chief and I are going to be taking advanced fire suppression. The grant money is really the only reason we’re able to come out here.”
“We’ll be learning new skills that we haven’t done at our station yet, which will definitely be useful for our career in the future,” Evalynn Flores, who like Ashmore is also a member of the NVFD in Midland, said.
“That’s what it’s all about. Gain the knowledge here at Texas A&M,” Lohmeyer said. “Bring that back to your home departments. Share that with your fellow firefighters, and make your communities safer.”
TEEX also hosted its annual week-long Spanish and Industrial Fire Schools earlier this month.
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