Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday at Industrial School

Photos: Dispersed throughout this post you will find photos taken Tuesday at Industrial Fire School.

CIMA: A large contingent of firefighters and instructors associated with the Channel Industries Mutual Aid, or CIMA, organization are completing various training exercises and courses this week at the Industrial School.

Formed in 1955, CIMA is comprised of 92 industrial members and 14 municipalities, who all respond to major incidents that happen in the Houston Ship Channel. The week-long school gives them a chance to all work together as a unit.

“We have different folks from different companies and we are all learning the same techniques, styles and systems,” said CIMA Vice-Chairman Stephen Greco. “By the end of the week we all gel like we have been together for years as a whole unit. That’s the beauty of this school.”

Since OSHA safety regulations have drastically decreased industrial plant accidents, hands-on experience is at a premium.

“We don’t have the major explosions like we did in the 80s and early 90s,” Greco added. “So the opportunities for real-life situations are not as common. With that said we have to keep our firefighters competence and intelligence level high, so we have to rely on good, realistic training to keep that level of competence up.”

In addition, the folks with the field experience from the past two decades will soon be replaced by the next generation of firefighters.

“Within a few years, a lot of folks with experience from the 80s will be retiring,” Greco said. “That’s another reason we have to maintain an advanced level of training and competence. We can get that realistic training here at TEEX.

Prop 31, The Process Unit: Today, the Process Unit burned for the first time for students. See yesterday’s post to learn more about the new prop and check out the short video clip below of the Process Unit in action.

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