Firefighters from across North Central Texas converged on the training facility at Lions Park on Wednesday afternoon.

The group was there for one purpose – to further their skills in fighting fires.

 “This school, which is the Navarro College Fire Academy Live Fire School, is the grand finale of a semester’s work at Navarro College for these guys,” said Jeff Aycock, fire academy coordinator and a captain with the Ennis Fire Department. “The fall semester consists of two classes, day and night, and it lasts from August to December.”

The spring semester, which is held days, begins in January and ends in May.

“During this live fire training, the guys will train in vent, rescue, hose and raise ladder,” Aycock said. “Tonight is family night — all the wives and children and other relatives will be out here to take pictures and be with the men.”

Aycock said firefighters in attendance came from Rowlett, Gun Barrel City, Ennis, Forreston and Telico.

“I’m a third-generation fire fighter,” said Forreston native Colby McBride. “I work for the fire department in Gun Barrel City and I am also a volunteer here in Forreston.”

McBride began as a volunteer fireman when he was 18 years old and has been with the Gun Barrel City fire department for nine years.

“This school is an intensive test of all the cumulative talents and strengths of the firefighters,” Aycock said.

For further information about the Navarro College Fire Academy, contact Jeff Aycock at 972-923-6448 or e-mail

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