BASTROP, Texas: This week’s 25th Annual Capital Area Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academy (CAIWA) begins at the Camp Swift National Guard Facility in Bastrop. The academy will take place Oct 6-18, 2022.
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. Texas Interagency Wildfire and Incident Management Academies, including CAIWA, aim to enhance wildland firefighters’ knowledge, utilizing NWCG standards while promoting safe and cost-effective operations.
Thirty classes are available this year, emphasizing entry-level and intermediate training in wildfire suppression for firefighters and incident managers. They expect 327 students to attend, representing over 85 organizations and agencies from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Washington.
“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.”
Training tuition assistance is available to eligible departments through the Texas A&M Forest Service under the Rural Volunteer Fire Department Assistance Program (HB 2604) and the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS).
Academy partners include the Texas Army National Guard, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Weather Service, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System.
The 20th annual Wildland Firefighter Memorial Service, held during the academy, will be held on October 9. 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 (TICC) webpage at ticc.tamu.edu.