College Station, Texas, is now one of three annual international stops made by the Williams Fire & Hazard Control Xtreme Industrial Fire & Hazard Training event held at Brayton Fire Training Field in June.
The other two upcoming stops for the event are Saint-Marcel, France, in September and Rayong, Thailand, in January, said Chauncey Naylor, director of emergency response and training at Williams Fire.
“Now that we are a Johnson Control company we have the ability to bring this program to other parts of the world and we are not stopping there,” Naylor told firefighters attending the June event. “We have plant to add yet another region to the schedule.”
Designed primarily for advance level firefighters, the event includes classroom study and practical exercises to cover various incident profiles and fire dynamics, foam and dry chemical applications, response logistics and field operations and large-volume equipment applications.
The event at Brayton marked a return to where it all began 24 years ago as the Les Williams Advanced Foam Technology Workshop, Naylor said.
“In the beginning we may have been seen as renegade risk-takers,” he said. “We do in fact take risks. However, we manage that risk and avoid at all cost taking unacceptable risks.”
The company continues to take great pride in never having had a lost time injury.
“The risk is no different today from what it has always been,” Naylor said. “There is even a lot more of it with the growth of industry.”
Over the years, the Xtreme school established a tradition as the place where the newest technology comes together with the most experienced people in industrial firefighting.
“I’m proud to say that a lot of the specialty equipment technology that Williams invented in the early days is still in use by industry and continues to influence new cutting edge products,” Naylor said.
Placing a priority on safety and prevention in industry has made a definite impact on the number of major incidents which makes training all that much more important, he said. “The potential is still there and the industry recognizes it,” Naylor said. “The result is having to rely on those that have the experience and the success that comes with it. This is the role we maintain.”
He quoted company founder Dwight Williams who said, “We might not always be ready, but we must always be prepared.”
Returning to College Station gives Xtreme students access to what Emergency Services Training Institute director Robert Moore modestly proclaimed to be “the best fire school in the world.”
“It’s the largest fire school in Texas for sure and we like to think it’s the largest fire school in the world,” Moore said.
Part of the inducement to win Xtreme back to Brayton was construction of a 45-foot-diameter live-fire storage tank project that ranks among the largest available, Moore said.
“We have been trying for a long time to get the Williams Fire and Hazard Control Xtreme school back here,” he said.
Naylor said that Williams F&HC was extremely proud to have partnered with the Texas Engineering Extension Service to bring this new training prop to life.
“Special thanks has to be paid to Pasadena Tank for their part in this great effort,” he said. “I know it will serve industry well.”