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Airport Rescue Firefighter Training

By frhayes | February 4, 2009

Forty Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) Firefighters recently completed an 8-hour training session at the San Bernardino County Regional Training facility. The training focused on Aircraft Rescue Firefighting (ARFF). Firefighters received training on how to handle many different types of aircraft emergencies. Including how to handle large exterior fuel fires, the control of fires within the cockpit and passenger compartments, and also included a course on how to drive the ARFF units. This training was in partial fulfillment of the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) mandatory annual requirements.  All ARFF personnel must participate in a "live burn" exercise, as well as 10 other disciplines on an annual basis. The Long Beach Airport funds this training, in fact last year to improve efficiency and to trim costs, 16 LBFD instructors were sent to Seattle Washington (Boeing) to a "Train the Trainer" course. The objectives of this presentation was to focus on the highly specialized and individual training needs required at the LB Airport, and for the crews who respond at this facility. This advanced team-based training focused on incorporating the Incident Command System (ICS) and communications early on an incident, while using realistic fuel props. In addition to this, after a review of the strategic direction of the ARFF program, previous training, FAA requirements, and discussions with ARFF personnel, additional training focused on: Hands-on experience with liquid fires, coordination between rigs, hand-lines, and interior operations (including driving and pumping). Aircraft construction (conventional and composite) as it relates to crashes and fires, and the latest research on "best practices" was also shown through a tour of the Boeing facility, and discussions with subject matter experts. The training received by the ARFF LBFD members is now regularly incorporated into monthly training given to all of the qualified ARFF members that focuses on the 10 disciplines required, and covers areas that go beyond the minimum mandated. The LBFD ARFF program has grown dramatically over a very short time period, and continues to improve based on the hard work and dedication of its members. In fact on April 24th, 2009 there will be a large exercise (coordinated by the LBFD) that will call for the support and coordination of all assets that function at the Airport to secure a successful operation. The LBFD appreciates and thanks the Long Beach Airport for their continued support, both financially, and on a day-to-day basis.

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