Firefighters extinguish aircraft burn training
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Fuel, engines and fire may be a scary combination for most, but some people move towards the flames to keep others safe.
Members of the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department completed semi-annual live fire training on a derelict training aircraft at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Dec. 14 and 15, 2016.
“The training is to help us keep up our proficiency on how to handle a fire in this type of situation,” said Master Sgt. Howard Shelton, 374 CES fire department assistant chief of training. “If something should happen, we need to be able to efficiently react to the scenario without having to think about what we are supposed to do.”
The training consisted of a training aircraft burning with two engine fires with leaking fuel spreading on the ground to simulate an aircraft on the runway needing assistance.
During the training, the firefighters were split into three teams of two. Two teams were assigned to extinguishing the fires with the remaining team on standby in case something goes wrong providing a safety line to help the primary teams.
“It’s important for us to receive this live fire training and practice how we would respond to an actual scenario,” said Airman 1st Class Zachary Schofield, 374 CES firefighter. “It helps us become more vigilant each time we run through an exercise. This time, I was part of the backup team, and it helped me learn from other member’s skillsets as I watched everyone work and ensured their safety.”
The training helped the firefighters gain experience and build cohesiveness to work as a better team for potential real-world scenarios.
“We want to make sure our firefighters are proficient and available if and when a real-world scenario comes up,” Shelton said. “We are here to ensure Yokota members are able to complete their mission, and be trained for any problem that may arise.”