While honoring participants in the February session of the Hellfighter U fire foam training, school director Frank Bateman received an honor of his own – Industrial Fire World’s Red Adair Award for excellence in industrial firefighting.
IFW publisher David White presented the award during the Hellfighter U banquet held the last night of the four-day school conducted at the Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station, TX.
“I am humbled by this,” Bateman said. “This is very special.”
White said Bateman had never gotten the honors he deserves. “Frank Bateman is a guy who doesn’t seem to want publicity,” White said. “We’ve got news for him – this time he doesn’t get a choice.”
Hellfighter U is the latest incarnation of Bateman’s highly regarded fire foam school. For decades, National Foam conducted an annual flammable liquids firefighting school at Brayton.
In 2000, Bateman joined Kidde Fire Fighting as training manager, instituting a curriculum overhaul of the National Foam fire school. The new program became so successful that it was expanded to three sessions annually.
In 2015, Bateman joined ICL Performance Products as Class B foam marketing and business development specialists. Part of the new job included re-establishing the fire foam school as the semi-annual Hellfighter U. Hellfighter U is a team effort, Bateman told the banquet audience.
“I hate to call you students because you guys are sharing you history,” Bateman said. “You are participants.”
Adair, who died in August 2004 at age 89, was a highly respected leader in the specialized field of oil well firefighting. His lengthy career was capped in 1991 when he took a lead role in extinguishing the oil well fires in Kuwait set by the retreating Iraqi army after the Gulf War. Adair himself received the first Red Adair award presented in 1984.