8/11/2003 12:00 AM
The 2003 Annual Fire Schools drew more than 3,278 students and 846 guest instructors to College Station to the Brayton Fire Training Field, the largest training field in the country. Students came from all over the state and nation and 26 different countries. The three, week-long schools were held between July 6 and July 25 by the TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute.
The 37th Annual Spanish School was held July 6-11, bringing in 549 students from 15 Spanish-speaking countries, as well as the United States. The whole week is conducted in the Spanish language, which was made possible by the help of 148 guest instructors from 14 different countries, said program manager Pat Barrett.
The 41st Annual Industrial School was held July 13-18 with 514 students from 26 states and eight countries and 242 guest instructors from 22 states.
During the largest school, the 74th Annual Municipal School, 2,215 students from five states and three countries participated the week of July 20-25. This year’s Municipal School was the largest in the last five years, said ESTI Director Les Bunte. TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute instructors were assisted by the 456 guest instructors that came from 17 different states.
Family members and the general public went out to Brayton on July 23 to watch live-fire fights and learn more about what firefighters have to face every day.
The first fire training school was held on the Texas A&M University campus and in Hensel Park in 1930. The two-day drill attracted 176 firefighters from 96 Texas towns. The Municipal Fire Training program moved to the Brayton Field in 1960. Today, the field has 132 training “props” and covered outdoor classroom shelters on the 120-acre site, including 21 live-fire props.