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TEEX fires up facilities to train new firefighters

The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service held its 59th annual Industrial Fire School with over 700 trainers and participants.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — According to the U.S. Fire Administration (FEMA), there were over 1.2 million fires in the United States in 2019.

Over at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), they’re making sure the men and women who help put out those fires are ready for anything.

TEEX trainers say industrial training it's unlike any school you’ve ever seen with hands-on training you won’t get anywhere else.

“The students will get some of the highest levels of education on some of the best props that you’ll find in the world,” TEEX Division Director Gordon Lohmeyer said.

These props are designed to simulate any disaster, so when the participants leave, they’re prepared.

“Their ability to perform skillsets necessary to protect their communities is important.”

Over 700 trainers and participants fill the almost 300-acre complex each year, eager to teach and learn.

“Feels good, I mean it’s hot, but I’m from here so I’m used to this, just not necessarily in bunker gear,” Station 81-Marathon FD Nikki Alverez said.

The fire may have brought the heat, but these students kept their cool, this is the closest they’ll get to fight a real fire.

It's something that sticks with them.

“I’m really appreciative,” Alverez said, “I think this is some of the best training I’ll get for it.”

For nearly 60 years, this school has been educating some of America’s finest, fire Captain for Shell Nichole Jacks says firefighters need programs like these to stay ahead of the flames.

“Things tend to drop off and then these firefighters won’t have what they need to keep themselves safe or their facilities safe,” Jacks said, “giving back to make sure the next generation has the best instructions, the best guidance coming into this is an honor.”

If you’d like to attend a training school at TEEX click here to register.