Coming to Stillwater in 1931 as fire chief, John Raymond "J. Ray" Pence would develop a fire training program that became second to none. A&M students took first aid, rescue and salvage courses-and slept in the fire station at night. By 1937 President Bennett gave Pence funding for a full-fledged program and the Department of Firemanship Training got its start. By the time he died in 1945, J. Ray had helped A&M win its reputation as the "West Point of the Fire Service." Fire Service Training was the first formal outreach and extension unit in the School of Engineering.