Firefighters from all over Texas travel to College Station for 86th Annual Texas A&M Municipal Fire School
Each July, Firefighters from all over the state and across the County make their annual pilgrimage to one of the largest firefighter training schools in the world. This year’s 86th Texas A&M Municipal Fire School drew over 1600 students to learn new techniques and practice their firefighting skills under the watchful eyes of guest instructors and staff from the Texas Engineering Extension Service who run the annual event.
Classes are taught both on the A&M Campus and at the school’s world class training facility located just southwest of College Station. Basic training sessions are geared toward training the newest recruits, while more advanced courses are available to challenge even the most experienced firefighters. As firefighters return year after year, not only do they gain knowledge, but they can progress toward different levels of certification through the State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Association, enabling them to train others and advance their fire service career.
The largest contingent came from the Riverside Fire Department who sent 7 students this year. Chief Gabe Johnson also served as an instructor in the Rope Rescue class. Firefighters trained for a week, with most alternating between classrooms and outdoor training at the training field. One of their biggest challenges was overcoming the conditions, as heat indexes soared above 105 F nearly every afternoon. Despite the heat and physical exertion, all of the firefighters from Walker County successfully completed their assigned courses. Most of the costs associated with the school are underwritten by grants from the Texas A&M Forest Service, who administer a statewide grant program funded through the State Legislature.
Later this month, the Walker County Firefighter’s Association will launch a new recruit training program designed to introduce prospective volunteer firefighters to the skills and knowledge to serve as a Firefighter in their community. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Volunteer Firefighter, contact your local fire station for more information or check out the WCFFA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wcffa