185th Fire Department Participates in Live Fire Exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Valerie Rose
  • 185th ARW/PA
In August, the 185th Air Refueling Wing Fire Department got to take part in a three day intensive training opportunity when the University of Missouri brought the Mobile Aircraft Rescue Firefighter Trainer, or MARFT, to Sioux City, Iowa.

According to Dan Williams, Assistant Chief of Training, the 185th Fire Department must be prepared at all times to be trained and ready to handle any emergency situation that may arise. Williams is a full-time employee with the 185th Fire department and has 11 years experience.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the National Guard Bureau mandate that the Fire Department must complete live fire training annually and the aircraft simulator provides them with that training. The trainer looks like the fuselage of a medium-size aircraft, but simulates a variety of small and large aircraft.

This was the second year in a row that the 185th Fire Department has trained with this simulator. "This is a good opportunity for us. It's an opportunity for us to use our own equipment," said Williams. "Normally we have to go out of town for this so it's an opportunity for us to bring them in here and train together as a unit and also train with our own vehicles."

The mock-up aircraft is equipped with passenger dummies for rescue drills, areas that can be punched in to allow water to be sprayed and pans for liquid propane which simulates a running fuel stream fire, a likely scenario the Fire Department can face.

"They brought 'pan fire' so we would simulate fuels on the ground, or a running fuel fire," said Williams. "It reproduces a true running fuel fire that is similar to what we may have to face in a real life situation."

When the training is brought to the organization, overtime, airfare, mileage, lodging and per diem costs are drastically reduced or eliminated. In addition, it gives all members of the unit a chance to participate in the valuable training needed to save lives and protect resources when an aircraft incident occurs.

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