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Donation strengthens A&M corporate partnership

Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 01:02


Jenna Rabel

Division director Robert Moore (from left), TEEX agency director Gary Sera, Bob Herman and Steve Pepper display Phillips 66’s donation.

One of the largest live-fire training facilities in the world, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s Brayton Fire Training Field, provides the initial and continuing education of first responders. With a $500,000 donation from Phillips 66, the training field moves another step closer to executing its 20-year expansion plan.

Bob Herman, senior vice president of health, safety and environment projects and procurement for Phillips 66, presented on Wednesday the ceremonial check to Robert Moore, chief of Brayton Fire Training Field.

“The donation itself is great, but what the partnership signifies is even more important,” Moore said. “We don’t try to treat this as a business, we try to treat it as a relationship — we build relationships, which this donation signifies. The more relationships we can build, the more longevity this training facility will have.”

Herman said the relationship between Phillips 66 and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service is a
great partnership.

“It’s my pleasure to continue what’s been a great partnership not only with the Extension Service and the fire school, but also with the University itself,” Herman said. “When we come here, we customize our school for our employees and they are with us every step of
the way.”

Janet Grothe, senior advisor of communications and public affairs for Phillips 66, said Phillips 66 has a rich history of partnership with Texas A&M. Students that come from A&M often make a good fit in their company, she said.

“For many years, Texas A&M has provided our company with great talent, ready to take on the challenges in a competitive business environment with a strong ethical compass to do things the right way,” Grothe said.

Herman said Phillips 66 has the strongest confidence in the first-responder training the extension service provides to its employees.

“We spend all of our waking hours at work making sure that the people we send to train never have to use the skills that they are taught here, but unfortunately we are in an unforgiving business and the time comes when we do have to employ those skills and we want to make sure our folks have the best training they can get anywhere in the country to be ready to respond,” Herman said.

Moore said the donation would be put toward beginning the TEEX 20-year plan for the expansion of Brayton Fire Training Field.

“We’re expecting to see more classes added, more responders being brought in, better quality of training and an expansion of the campus to 296 acres, which will be the largest in the world,” Moore said.

Herman said this donation is by far the largest Phillips 66 has ever given.

“I’m very happy to donate this to the fire school to help them continue the expansion to what they can offer for services,” Herman said. “We continue to grow our relationship for corporate fire schools here, and every year we see an improvement to the fire grounds and an improvement in what we are able to offer to our own people. We get [raving] reviews from our firefighters that, come here from all the Phillips assets and they go away knowing that we’ve given them professional training in a very class-act setting.”


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