HB 2604 helps Texas firefighters receive hands-on training and strengthens the local economy during the annual fire school
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS – Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, or TEEX, is closing its annual fire training schools later this week.
This week, the annual TEEX Municipal Fire School takes place, where students from communities across Texas are in town to study … and stay overnight.
These brave men and women soak up life-saving knowledge to take with them into their own communities … while helping our own here.
“What you do is very important. They take that back and serve their community. The training takes place here and we are really proud to be a part of it, ”shared Greg Stafford, President / GM of the Brazos Valley Hospitality Association, KRHD. with 25 messages.
Stafford, general manager and president of the Brazos Valley Hospitality Association and general manager of the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center, says the hospitality industry is the biggest export.
“… Bringing outside money into our community is a great thing. These people here have a great experience, and many of them come back and vacation with us at other times of the year. It’s great to have them here , ”Added Stafford.
Many of these city firefighters come from small communities themselves, so they support the locals when and where they can.
“We try to pick local things. We’re from a small town, so we understand the importance of helping the locals,” said Amber Hill, a fire fighter at Gilmer FD.
They use what they gained during the week-long training in Aggieland to take it back to their home departments, saying that they can only get it here.
“It’s amazing … once in a lifetime. There’s nowhere to match it. The amount of people … volunteers … paid … all teachers. You meet people from all over the state of Texas,” LT. Ashley Morrow, with Reagan County Fire and EMS in Big Lake, said.
Historically, all three fire schools combined bring an estimated economic impact of nearly $ 6 million per year to the community.
“It’s nice to give back to the community. They host us. They put up with us all week we’re here. It’s always nice to invest our money in a place that is always welcoming,” added Lt. Morrow added.
For the 92nd annual municipal fire brigade school there are 987 students in 242 departments in the school this week … 950 of these students are here with a scholarship.
“I’m here in the Wildland class on the Texas Forest Service Scholarship. This is my sophomore year here. The last time I came on the scholarship I took the exemption and this time I’m taking Wildland,” LT. Added tomorrow.
A relief program that began nearly 20 years ago was awarded $ 660,000 for these students this year to give them free entry to school.
“The Texas A&M Forest Service receives annual funds that it can distribute to local and voluntary fire departments. That’s House Bill 2604. That 17 million will be distributed across the state of Texas for training, equipment and tools, ”said Guy Duncan, Assistant Chief at Texas A&M Forest Service said,“ It’s a great partnership between TEEX and the Texas A&M Forest Service . “
For this year’s Municipal School, the Texas A&M Forest Service awarded $ 661,873 in tuition, food, and housing grants to 950 students in 242 departments, accounting for approximately 89% of all students in the 92nd annual Municipal Fire School.
The Texas A&M Forest Service has granted over $ 312 million in grants to Texas Fire Fighters, including training classes for over 91,000 firefighters.
The Rural VFD Assistance Program (HB 2604) was launched in 2001 and awards grants to the rural volunteer fire brigades for fire engines, fire and rescue equipment, protective clothing, fire service training, to name but a few.
Since the start of the program, there have been almost 2,000 truck grants, around 10,000 equipment grants, 25,877 training grants and almost 90,000 trainees.
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