The 24th annual Capital Area Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academy, CAIWA, at the Camp Swift National Guard Facility in Bastrop will take place Oct. 7-19.
Each year, firefighters travel across the state and nation to attend the academy to continue their education and earn National Wildfire Coordinating Group, NWCG, training qualifications.
“Training is considered a top priority for many fire departments and response agencies, whether local, state or federal,” said Meredith McNeil, Texas A&M Forest Service chief response training coordinator. “As an agency, we are honored to help firefighters reach their training goals and better serve their communities.”
The mission of Texas Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academies, including CAIWA, is to enhance wildland firefighters’ knowledge, utilizing NWCG standards, while promoting safe and cost-effective fire-fighting operations.
Twenty-six classes are available this year that emphasize entry level and intermediate training in wildfire suppression for firefighters and incident managers. A total of 350 students from Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia, are expected to attend.
Training and memorial service
Training tuition assistance is available to eligible departments through Texas A&M Forest Service under the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program and Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System.
Academy partners include the Texas Army National Guard, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Weather Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, The Nature Conservancy and Texas Wildfire Association.
The annual Wildland Firefighter Memorial Service will be held on Oct. 12. This service honors firefighters who have died in the line of duty while fighting wildfires.
Additional academy information is available on the Texas Interagency Coordination Center webpage.