The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service announced Tuesday (May 5) that the 2020 industrial and municipal annual fire schools scheduled for July have been cancelled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement issued by Robert Moore, TEEX chief operating officer, said that a multitude of factors went into the decision to cancel.
“Many of you may be aware that the decision was made several weeks ago to cancel the annual Spanish school for this year,” Moore said. “The vast majority of these students come from outside of the U.S., thus it just wasn’t feasible, considering travel restrictions and other current restrictions to continue with this school.”
After further consideration, the decision was also made to cancel the 2020 annual industrial and municipal schools, Moore said.
“This wasn’t a decision that was made lightly or without thought,” Moore said. “We look forward to when we can once again come together with the purpose of sharing out knowledge with others in 2021.”
Students will be offered full refunds on their tuition, Moore said.
The cancellation also applies to the vendor exhibit shows tied to each school.
Each year in July thousands of fire service personnel from municipalities and industries around the world participate in intensive weeklong training courses that make up the annual TEEX fire schools. The first week is dedicated to students from Spanish speaking countries. Week two is set aside for industrial emergency responders and week three is reserved for municipal responders, both volunteer and paid.
The three schools have been an annual event at TEEX for the last 54 years.
TEEX and its Emergency Services Training Institute (TEEX-ESTI) is home to a 300-acre complex consisting of the Brayton Fire Training Field, Disaster City, the Emergency Operations Training Center. Last year TEEX-ESTI trained more than 120,000 people from around the world in 130 emergency response disciplines.