Dyess, Abilene firefighters train together to keep blaze under control
By Senior Airman Kia Atkins, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 08, 2014
DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Firefighters from the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron and Abilene Airport Fire Department participated in live fire training here April 2 and 3.
The purpose of live fire training is to evaluate and improve firefighting capabilities on various types of aircraft fires.
"In this live fire training, we use actual jet fuel, whereas a lot of other bases use propane, which doesn't present the same challenges," said Floyd Jones, 7th CES deputy fire chief.
The firefighters from the 7th CES were completing their mandatory bi-annual training in conjunction with the Abilene Airport Fire Department's yearly fire certifications required by the Federal Aviation Association.
"Our guys will be fighting live fuel today, and if they mess up...they get burned," Jones said. "It's not just a simulated fire, it's a real fire. The Air Force has seen that Airmen deployed from bases who use propane instead of jet fuel in their firefighting training do not have as good of techniques as the Airmen who do. It's the same as anything: hands-on training just makes you better at your job."
Instead of having to go to Dallas-Fort Worth for their yearly certifications, the Abilene Airport Fire Department is able to perform their training on base with the Dyess Fire Department. Abilene Airport purchases the fuel for these yearly certifications. By not having to make the commute to Dallas; it saves the taxpayers of Abilene roughly $15,000 to $20,000 a year.
"I believe that doing this fire training with the Abilene Airport Fire Department, it makes us stronger as a community," Jones said. "We have a mutual aid agreement with the Abilene Airport and City of Abilene Fire Departments that if an accident happens at the airport or here on base we can all respond to them. The interoperability between us becomes a lot better, because we can communicate better. They know what our guys do; we know what their truck does, so it just makes all three departments better."