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Coalition first responders team up for fire training

  • Published
  • By SSgt Joshua Kleinholz
  • 332d Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

Fire protection specialists assigned to the 332d Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron teamed up with their German Air Force counterparts in tackling an emergency response exercise February 9, 2018, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

The exercise, aimed at improving response times and building cohesion between the coalition response teams, included a scenario that called for the report, location, and rescue of a missing person trapped within a smoked out office building.

“Our dispatch initiated an incident and we responded to a structure fire on the German camp,” said Master Sgt. Maria Stivers, 332 ECES fire protection flight assistant chief of operations. “We were able to arrive in five minutes, at which point two crews prepared to make entry and find an individual who was reportedly missing.”

Because coalition partners on the installation lack fully-equipped firefighters and the heavy equipment required to support them, 332 ECES Airmen train to assist them at their camps as well. Just as important as the response time however, is establishing efficient communication channels by which incidents can be reported quickly.

“Did somebody call the [Joint Defense Operations Center]? Were they able to reach the fire department? How quickly can they respond to our location?” said a German Air Force fire protection specialist. “Today’s exercise tested everything so that we can make sure our members know what to do.”

Once the simulated casualty was found and evacuated, firefighters worked to the clear the rest of the building and ventilate the smoky hallways while a German paramedic team set to work on treatment.

“It’s very important that we work with our German comrades,” said Stivers. “Not only does it give us an opportunity to see how they operate and do accountability, but also to learn about the best ways we can work together.”