When team members at LyondellBasell’s Tuscola Fire Department were presented with the prospect to train outside their typical perimeters, alongside two professionals from the Tuscola Fire Department, they jumped at the opportunity. For three days 15 firefighters trained with live fires at Texas A&M, home to a comprehensive training facility used to train more than 81,000 firefighters a year.
Tuscola’s Chip Haake and Dustin Haake represented TFD, and Ian Harp trained for Lyondell’s crew.
“This training is an invaluable experience,” said Tuscola Fire Chief Brian Moody. “It was an amazing opportunity for two of our Tuscola Fire Department members to extinguish large fire in a controlled, safe environment.”
The training for the two TFD members was courtesy of a grant provided by LyondellBasell.
“This is unlike any training we can experience in Illinois,” Assistant Fire Chief Chip Haake. “Spending time alongside the firefighters at LyondellBasell strengths the bond between the two groups even further, and makes us more cohesive as a team.”
Learning safe practices and fine-tuning their skills around extinguisher, nozzle and hose handling, the first responders also took on more challenging training, like using wind direction as an advantage during a live fire.
“This training builds camaraderie with both LyondellBasell and the Tuscola Fire Department, but more importantly it provides knowledge of valuable skills one may only gain by years of first responder experience,” said Aaron McKee, manager of LyondellBasell’s Tuscola plant.