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Galena Park firefighters train for emergencies

Training firefighters battle a mock railroad car disaster with hazardous material burning.

By Allan Jamail

Bryan, TX — Disaster City — Monday, July 23, 2018 — Galena Park Fire Chief Paul Gregory took a group of his firefighters to Texas A & M College Station, which is in its 89th year of Fire Training and Emergency Responders Training, to upgrade emergency responders’ training and certification.

Chief Gregory, one of five hundred instructors there, said, “There’s about 1,800 emergency responders here from all over Texas who’ll have five days of extensive training and testing in various fields of firefighting, emergency rescue, hazardous materials and Emergency Medical Training.”

Disaster City is located in College Station, on a 52-acre training facility that delivers the full array of skills and techniques needed by today’s emergency response professionals. The site has a building collapse area, rubble pile area, technical skills training area, and a transportation disaster training area, to name a few. The training is realistic, large-scale, and hands-on, and attracts more than 45,000 emergency responders from all 50 states and more than 45 countries each year.The mock community features full-scale, collapsible structures designed to simulate various levels of disaster and wreckage which can be customized for the specific training needs of any group.

Training requires climbing into mangled steel and glass that was once a bustling passenger train or building, search and rescue teams using dogs to sift through a building’s rubble left from a terrorist attack or natural disaster hoping to find survivors.

Chief Gregory says the cost for his firefighters training is provided through a grant from the Texas Forest Service and other sponsors.