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Each year, the Bryan Fire Department hosts an officer development training where all supervisory personnel reflect on achievements from the previous year, review challenges, and look to the future ahead. This time plays an important role in the success and continued education of BFD firefighters, providing an opportunity for them to hone their skills in serving the Bryan community.
This year Bryan Fire Chief Randy McGregor sought to include firefighters from other departments in the region by hosting a renowned expert in the firefighting field, Chief Don Abbott. A retired Assistant Fire Chief and one of the firefighters primarily responsible for developing the Phoenix Fire Department Command Training Center, Chief Abbott is also the pioneer of “Project Mayday”, a comprehensive study of mayday responses, incidents, and prevention. This research-based investigation is aimed at assisting firefighters with the knowledge to reduce the occurrences of and improve responses to mayday situations. “Learning from others and past incidents is vital,” Fire Chief McGregor shared. “Through this type of real-life training, our firefighters learn best practices in assisting one another if they become trapped or disoriented, which is vital in protecting our community and fellow firefighters.”
Over 150 firefighters were in attendance, some travelling from as far away as San Angelo, Houston, and Garland. Several shared their thoughts on the importance of taking advantage of an opportunity to advance their knowledge base while remembering to focus on the fundamentals.
“It is always valuable when firefighters and Fire Chiefs take the time to self-evaluate,” shared Galveston Fire Chief Mike Wisko. “You learn better ways to do things and trainings like these help save lives.”
Houston Fire Captain Van Postell shared the same excitement in learning new things. “Having been a part of the Houston Fire Department for 14 years, I took away several things. In particular, the need for training at night and not just under simulated circumstances.”
“I have known Chief Abbott for about 30 years,” shared Atascocita Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Mulligan. “No one else has done so much research to help keep firefighters from getting into these situations.”
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