COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — The 59th Annual TEEX Industrial Fire School began this week.
This week alone, around 500 students are gearing up at the TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field. They are gaining hands-on experience within the fire industry, including leadership and communication skills.
"We are so blessed to have this facility so close to us," a student said.
Since 1929, the Annual Fire Training Schools have trained thousands of fire service and emergency personnel.
This week, the focus is on industrial workers.
"These students are primarily from the energy sector... refining polymer plants... chemical plants.. Tank farms... They are people who produce a product," Gordon Lohmeyer, TEEX ESTI Division Director said
"So far it's been great... got world-class facilities, world-class instruction. A lot of learning opportunities," Joel White, a student with the TEEX Industrial Fire School said.
White, employed by the Dow Chemical Company, says he is learning how to continue to keep himself, his plant, and his co-workers safe.
".....being able to actually simulate real-life events that could happen in the process units back at home and work on my communication skills and team-building with people I am not so familiar with... I think that is a great opportunity as well," White said.
Chief of the TEEX Fire School, Gordon Lohmeyer, calls the school and their services a one-stop-shop for emergency responder training.
"We typically train about 120,000 first responders each year...staggering number. We are heavily leveraged in the municipal fire service. We run 7 recruit academies a year. We have an EMS program with EMT paramedic deliveries... Leadership training... Industrial fire... Hazardous materials... Rescue... to name a few," Lohmeyer said.
This week... Industrial. "Liquefied gas fires... Flammable and combustible liquid fires... Vehicle fires... Pipeline fires..."
Next week, municipal.
"Same type of format as this week... different audience. We will see both, volunteer and paid firefighters, international customers, and out-of-state customers as well," Lohmeyer added.
Lohmeyer, proud and pleased, to have customers back after last year's cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are pumped up... we are excited to have our customers back in a face-to-face environment," Lohmeyer added.
"There's no other facility in the world that can do what these people out here and it's great," White shared.
Each July, there are three week-long trainings. The first is their 'Spanish Fire School', teaching those from Spanish-speaking countries. The next (which is currently this week) is for 'Industrial' workers and the follow week, next week will be their 'Municipal Fire School', which will include firefighters, both volunteer and paid.
"We want to provide training and some opportunities for the students to operate safer during an emergency situation, protect their company, protect their community, and to protect critical assets in the environment as well," Lohmeyer shared.
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