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TEEX hosts 35th annual Spring Fire School, training over 300 first responders

Posted at 2:30 PM, Mar 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-11 14:01:06-05

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, TEEX, is preparing to host its 35th annual Spring Fire School. Over 300 students in fire school come from all over Texas to learn about emergency response techniques, hazardous materials, and rescue.

Paul Siebert is the Public Sector Program Director for TEEX and says it is their task to deliver proper training to firefighters across the state.

“This is one opportunity of many for us to be able to provide that training and get them the latest information, and all the different techniques and opportunities to be able to keep their skills up to be prepared for any emergencies they may come across,” Siebert said.

Jodi Pope has been in a TEEX fire student near San Antonio for one year.

“If something goes down, I want to be able to help them,” Pope said.

“I want to serve my community —they’re important to me; they’re beautiful.”

“These instructors have something special,” Pope said.

“They have a spirit of unity. It’s like Psalm 133 — 'Oh, how sweet and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity,' and it is. You come out here and you ask one of these men about themselves, and they end up pointing across the field and saying 'him, him, and him.'"

She started attending fire school with her husband — both of them learning how to better serve their community.

“We’ve been chain sawing and knocking stuff down," Pope said.

“This is forcible entry. This morning we were learning about hoses and going up ladders. There’s so many important and critical things that we’re learning. If disaster happens — we’re going to be prepared, God willing.”

Siebert says this fire school prepares any and everyone in the state of Texas to become emergency responders.

“They’re able to come here and learn and build on their skills, and start to get themselves prepared to go back and protect and serve their own community,” Siebert said.

Whitney Phillips is a new TEEX student, and she says this training has inspired her to become a paramedic.

“We’ve been going through CPR training,” Phillips said.

“We just finished up and I think we’re all pretty sufficient in that. We’ve been learning about tourniquets, and mass casualty events. We’ve learned about car accidents and how to extricate patients."

Jeff Doran is a group supervisor with TEEX and says students will learn every scenario possible before going into the field.

“You’re putting your life on the line all of the time, so this is the key to their success as a firefighter — no matter what situation they go into,” Doran said.

For fire students like Pope — it’s all about unity, protecting, and serving.

“If I can get that spirit of unity and bring it back home, then I’ve done something good,” Pope said.

“They’re teaching lot of good here — I’m so grateful to live in Texas and to be a part of this.”

You can learn more information about the TEEX Fire School here.