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Navy firemen conduct training at Andersen

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nichelle Griffiths
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The U.S. Navy Fire Department conducted live-fire structural training here Nov. 17 to 21 to certify eight Navy Fire Cadets and re-certify more than 54 seasoned firefighters.

"Live-fire training presents the same types of hazards encountered during emergency response operations," said Shane Rayfield, Naval Base Guam fire chief. "However, as a planned activity, training requires a higher standard of care to ensure the safety of participants."

The training is required annually for the Navy firemen. The firemen conducted the training at Andersen because Andersen is home to the only live-fire structural and aircraft trainers on Guam.

The structural training facility consists of three floors with various scenario objectives.

The first floor of the structural trainer is known as the lower burn room. The room uses propane to simulate an interior structural fire for Class B fires. Class B fires are fires in flammable liquids and gases such as gasoline, petroleum oil, paint, propane and butane.

During this scenario, the firemen extinguish the simulated burn while the Extinguish Control Officer grades the scenario by gauging the effectiveness of the fire stream techniques used. The officer assesses the effectiveness by controlling how large or small the flames get using an exterior controller.

The upper burn room on the second floor is where firemen learn how to extinguish Class A fires at a temperature of more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Class A fires are one of the more cost common types of fires. These fires consist of wood, paper, cloth, rubber and plastics driven fires. The extreme temperatures of this room help make this room nearly parallel to temperatures one can face during an actual emergency.

The firemen conduct scenarios on this floor to ensure proficiency and decrease the amount of time it takes to control and extinguish Class A fire in any given situation.
The final floor is used for the search and rescue of dummies. The dummies are life-sized weighing more than 185 pounds.

"The value of live-fire training is difficult to calculate because it's impossible to put a value on human life," Mr. Rayfield said. "Saving lives and avoiding injury are the reasons why fire departments invest in fire facilities. There is simply no substitute for live firefighting experience under safe, controlled conditions."

The week long training was essential in the development of these firemen.
"Plans are currently being proposed to construct a fire training facility on Naval Base Guam," Mr. Rayfield said.