U.S. Marines with Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, conducted mobile aircraft fire fighting training alongside San Diego County firefighters at the San Diego International Airport in San Diego California, July 10.
The Marine and local firefighters both need training and certifications to be able to perform the emergency and non-emergency events that occur on a daily basis.
“This training exercise is for our folks to get the basic skills that they need to be able to handle the emergency instances down at Lindbergh Field,” said Colin Stowell, the fire chief with San Diego Fire-Rescue. “Firefighting aircraft is much different than structure fires and wildland firefighting.”
On MCAS Camp Pendleton, ARFF Marines support air station operations with fire suppression and extinguishment, extrication and rescue, basic emergency medical services, salvage and overhaul operations and immediate hazardous material response. The Marines constantly train to be able to respond to any type of emergency on the airstation, likewise the local firefighters conduct the same training. Different fires with each aircraft comes with its own skill, knowledge and risks.
“Throughout the county, we regularly drill and will conduct exercises with our partners throughout San Diego County,” said Stowell. “We know that fires have no boundaries and neither do emergencies to this scale.”
The firefighters from San Diego County provide fire protection and emergency services to over 40 communities through 35 fire stations and over 500 first responders. According to Stowell, fire departments from all over the county rely on each other for resources. Training together builds camaraderie between the different departments and allows them to provide mutual aid to each other. Stowell says it is critical that this partnership allows the various fire departments to work together at the same platform.
“We don’t have a (mobile aircraft firefighting training device) on Camp Pendleton,” said Sgt. Luis Gomez, an aircraft rescue and firefighting specialist with ARFF, H&HS, MCAS Camp Pendleton. “This allows the Marines to train in a real scenario. It is good for the Marines.”