106th Rescue Wing Fire Department Conducts Live Fire Training
By TSgt Monica Dalberg, 106RQW/PA
/ Published July 15, 2014
WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NEW YORK -- Members of the 106th Rescue Wing Fire Department honed their firefighting skills this week at the Suffolk County Fire Academy in Yaphank (SCFA), N.Y., with live fire training exercises on May 12th, 2014.The SCFA facility provides firefighters with training and experience suppressing fires involving homes, commercial structures, flammable liquids, vehicles, as well as vehicle extrication.
Firefighters of the 106th attend a week-long training at SCFA at least once a year. During this exercise, fire instructors ignite a flammable substance in the residential training structure. Firefighters breached the dwelling to enter the burning facility as they would in a real-world scenario, where they were met by flames that rolled across the ceiling. As smoke and burning embers surrounded them, the firefighters extinguished two separate fires within the structure and completed the simulated victim extraction.
In a previous exercise earlier that day, firefighters extinguished a fuel fire with aqueous film forming foam, or A3F. The A3F is for fire suppression and cools the fire and coats the fuel in order to prevent contact with oxygen, so as to suppress combustion. Airman Basic Brandon Ehlers, the newest firefighter at the 106th RQW, was at the SCFA for the first time. "The training there helped me to realize exactly what was going on," said AB Ehlers. "Things you need to look for, such as which way the wind is blowing, where to be, what it can affect and the safe zone."
"There are more facilities there to give us varying training opportunities. We can actually do live fire there," stated Senior Master Sergeant James Nizza, Fire Chief at the 106th RQW. "This is an asset that we have which is local to us and very cost effective."
According to Nizza, most firefighter training is standard across the board, although not all states have adopted the standards of the National Fire Protection Association. The Air Force does follow the standard put forth by the NPFA, which requires more training for 106th RQW firefighters.
"It gives us some rigidity in how we need to train on a regular basis," stated Nizza, regarding NFPA standards. Ehlers enjoyed the training at the facility with seasoned firefighters from the unit and looks forward to more of the same.
"There's more than one way to open a door, based on how the door's built," said Ehlers, concerning forcible entries. "Learn every day. It's exactly what I want to do!"