Sunday, December 2, 2007

Air Force firefighters teach Iraqis blaze fighting basics

Source: Asymmetric Military.

28 November 2007
By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Hanson
407th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs.

ALI BASE, Iraq (AFPN) -- Seven local Iraqi firefighters shared a momentous occasion as they graduated from the Ali Base basic firefighter skills course. The 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron fire and emergency services flight firefighters put on a six-day training course to train Iraqi firemen of varying experience levels, from a province in nearby An Nasiriyah.

"Our Air Force firefighters are directly supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom by helping them improve the fire services in southern Iraq," said Staff Sgt. DeRon Branch, course leader with the 407th ECES. The regional program is run in cooperation with liaisons from the Iraqi fire service.

The 80-hour Air Force curriculum was condensed into about five, four-hour blocks covering basic firefighting skills, search and rescue, live fire training, auto extrication and medical training to include CPR. Before the start of the course, students went through a vigorous Iraqi and American selection and screening process.

The first visit to the fire house included introductions and academic classroom work. But in the weeks following, the men got to put those lessons into practice. "My most memorable experience would be the eagerness each student possessed to become firefighters," Sergeant Branch said. "They were all very hard working."

"The training the men have received, we are very grateful for," said an Iraqi firefighter. "We will use our training experiences every day by training others. Now we just need the right equipment to help us, so we can better respond and save lives." The sixth and final day of training, the Iraqi firefighters went through a confidence course allowing them to apply the techniques they learned.

"Our mission is to save lives. And after all their training, they looked like they were ready to save lives too," said Staff Sgt. Dan Erickson Jr., a fire protection crew chief with the 407th ECES. The firemen were each given a certificate of training during a special graduation ceremony.

Photo - A local Iraqi firefighter operates a hose while Staff Sgt. Joshua Wilson gives advice to effectively knock out a fire during training. The 407th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters conduct a live-fire training exercise for the Iraqi firefighters teaching basic skills of advancing a hand line, procedures on approaching hazardous environments and performing search and rescue. Sergeant Wilson is deployed from Kadena Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Snyder). Digg! Digg!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be respectful of others, so they may be respectful to you. Have a blessed day.