By Airman 1st Class Thomas Cox, 152nd Airlift Wing
/ Published July 10, 2021
152nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire protection specialists extinguish an exterior fire of a C-130 aircraft frame during a live burn exercise at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wis., July 7, 2021. The firefighters are training in a live-burn exercise to practice firefighting techniques and procedures in a real-world environment. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman First Class Thomas Cox)
152nd Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) fire protection specialists participated in multiple firefighting training exercises at Volk Field Air National Guard Base June 7-9, 2021.
“We’ve been able to get lots of hands-on experience by being able to pull wet hose lines, spray water and be able to get guys inside of the aircraft,” said Master Sgt. Anthony Masten, 152nd CES assistant fire chief. “This isn’t the typical training we are usually able to do on base."
The Airmen started off the week training in a live-burn environment, honing in on techniques of how to properly and effectively respond to an active aircraft fire. They ran through various drills led by instructors from the Volk Field Fire Department ranging from exterior aircraft fires to interior fires or even a mixture of both.
“I loved being able to do the live-burns this week,” said Senior Airman Connor Cwiak, the 152nd CES’s newest fire protection specialist. “Being able to get into the C-130 fuselage and get the hands-on training is really great since we don’t always have the opportunity to train in real fire scenarios.”
The Airmen also practiced forcible entry and victim extraction by using a C-130 Crash Damage Disabled Aircraft Recovery (CCDAR) unit filled with smoke. This gave the Airmen a realistic training environment that required them to maneuver through the aircraft with low visibility in an effort to find and extricate victims while also suppressing any fire dangers.
Finishing off the week, the Airmen went through a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) confined space confidence course. This required the Airmen to maneuver through a confined space environment with no visibility while breathing through their SCBA. They went through many obstacles ranging from an entanglement course to ascending and descending through openings in either the ceiling or floor.
“The more we do these types of training, the better our guys will get,” said Masten. “It’s always real-world for us, people’s lives are at stake.”