624th CES firefighters attend joint training

  • Published
  • By James Bowman
  • 624th Regional Support Group

Firefighters perform selfless acts every day, it could be running into a burning building, extracting a victim from a car wreck, or deploying to locations around the world. Training is a big part of a firefighter’s life; they must be ready to respond in a moment’s notice and once on scene quickly assess the situation.

The 624th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters trained with the Hawaii Army National Guard, 297th Engineer Detachment, Firefighting Team, 103rd Troop Command on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The joint training consisted of aircraft live fire burns, rope rescue and firefighter rescue techniques. This training allows firefighters to practice on what could happen in real life and gain experience in a joint environment.

“The benefits of training with the Hawaii Army National Guard and U.S. Marine Corps cannot be overstated,” said Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Palacios, 624th CES, deputy fire chief. “We all learn from each other and are always looking to expand our team with other units on Oahu.”

Training is designed to challenge firefighter’s mental, physical resiliency and tests them on how to respond to stressful situations. It also gives them opportunities to improve their skill set and overcome challenges.

“This joint training opportunity makes our Airmen mission ready and to better understand tactics the Marine Firefighters implemented during a live burn exercise,” said Master Sgt. Michael Morgan, 624th CES, fire assistant chief of training. “I feel training like this should be done more often to increase our knowledge, become efficient and overall better firefighters.”

Responding to a fire is dangerous and live training comes with its challenges as well, but the use of Virtual Reality technology allows firefighters to train in a controlled environment. VR training is a safer way to maintain readiness, is more cost effective and aids in meeting future objects.  

“Training with the other services allows us to refresh our skills in aircraft firefighting and learn more about rescue techniques from the Marines,” said Senior Airman Tex Kang, 624th CES, fire protection specialist. “Comradery is another benefit with joint training. You get to know other people from other services, and this helps on future deployments and responding to real life situations.”            

The DOD Fire Academy located at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas is the home to the Fire Protection Apprentice Course for the DOD. The course provides training to all components of the DOD, including uniformed and civilian members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.