COLLEGE STATION, Texas (FOX 44) – Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) starts its 93rd annual Municipal Fire Training School at Brayton Fire Training Field this week.

These events will take place on Tuesday, from 9 a.m. until noon. The field is located at 1595 Nuclear Science Road in College Station. Nearly 900 municipal and volunteer firefighters from around Texas and from other states will attend. Participants will choose from more than 30 courses – including wildland firefighting, basic emergency telecommunications, automobile extrication and rope rescue.

TEEX says that because all wildland fires begin as local fires, volunteer and municipal firefighters are first to respond and the first line of defense against wildfires. A safe, capable, and equipped fire service is essential to handling fires at the local level and decreasing the amount of state assistance needed. Providing this training for more Texas firefighters will build local responders’ capacity to stop wildfires before they become too large and threaten homes, communities and lives.

According to TEEX, this training is vital to the state of Texas – especially considering the current conditions of drought, high temperatures and burn bans throughout the state. Since January 1 of this year, the Texas A&M Forest Service and local fire departments have responded to 6,542 wildfires across the state – saving nearly 5,000 homes. Of 254 Texas counties, 218 have been impacted by wildfire this season.

Texas A&M Forest Service provides grant funding for firefighters to attend training through the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program, a cost-share program funded by the Texas Legislature. In addition to providing firefighting vehicles, equipment, and clothing to volunteer fire departments, the funding covers the tuition for volunteer firefighters in Texas to attend TEEX’s annual school. This year, more than 87 percent of registered students attending Municipal Fire Training School received grants.

In addition to courses and training opportunities, the annual school includes a vendor show, memorials and a night of public firefighting demonstrations.

For more information about TEEX, you can visit TEEX.org.