Article Archive
Why Is BEST Special?
Beaumont fire school makes plans for fall event
Volume 25 Summer

A certain spirit alive in the Golden Triangle of Texas is being demonstrated at the Oct. 23 through 29, 2010, Beaumont Emergency Services Training (BEST) Complex Annual Fall Fire School. It is the spirit that makes the U.S. special, of people working together for the good of all.

In 2004, building on a historically strong fire training program established through the collaborative energies of the Beaumont Fire & Rescue Department, Lamar University’s Industrial Training Institute, and area municipal, volunteer and industrial fire departments, the Industrial Safety Training Council contracted to assume management of BEST. In spite of two major hurricanes barreling through the area since, ISTC has made major facility improvements.

Between 2007 and 2009, BEST and the Sabine Neches Chiefs Association (SNCA) collaborated with Industrial Fire World and co-hosted the IFW conference for three years. Industrial fire and emergency response managers and team members attending the conference experienced the full capabilities of the BEST Complex. BEST Complex and SNCA determined that this is the time to reignite their unified efforts to meet the growing needs for training in their area. Any department or company is welcome to participate and benefit from their program.

So, why call this a special training? It was planned by and for industrial, municipal and volunteer emergency responders and their community partners. Rather than training separately to respond in a unified way when an incident occurs, this training gives them the benefits of specialized training that addresses needs the planning team identified as part of their strategic planning efforts. Some sessions are one day and others cover more time. Some could be selected only by municipal and volunteer firefighters or only industrial emergency responders, but all are open to both. This gives each response team manager the benefit of training as needed, to strengthen their integrated or specific team capabilities.

Check out the program and know that any responders can participate even if they are not part of the Golden Triangle. They can gain understanding and appreciation of how "best practices" for one situation require change for another.

Communication issues are more than radio frequency and technology issues. The key is to know that everyone receiving the message receives it with the same understanding. Training together is critical to be able to "hear" the message that is being sent rather than some mistaken perspective that may later prove costly.

The communities and industries in the Gulf Coast area are experiencing growth and change. I have been involved with the training at the BEST complex since the 1970s and salute the area leaders for their willingness to make needed changes and their commitment to work together to give the best emergency response possible.


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