Seven hundred and thirteen industrial emergency response brigades members and safety officers from some of the world’s largest energy and chemical companies attended the 56th annual Industrial Fire School at Brayton Fire Training Field last July in Texas.
The students represent 17 countries and 32 U.S. states. Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) staffers and 267 specially recruited guest instructors conducted the training.
Bill Burket of Shell has attended every summer school for the last 19 years. Now a guest instructor he teaches NFPA 1080 exterior firefighting.
“We get a lot of municipal firefighters,” he said. “We try to introduce them to the different approach needed for big fires.”
As children, Burket brought his two children to witness the school. Today, his oldest holds a degree in industrial safety. His youngest, Michael, 19, now pursuing the same degree, returned to Brayton this year with his father.
David Bartek of Charlotte, NC, has graduated to instructor for advanced bulk storage firefighting in his fourth year at the industrial school.
“I enjoy getting out there in the gear and sweating quite a bit,” Bartek said. “I miss doing it.”
Omar Chapa, a pipeline technician with Enterprise Products, does not serve on a brigade but likes to stay informed.
“The company provides this training, so I take advantage of it,” Chapa said.