Firefighters combine forces, improve life-saving skills

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
Firefighters from the 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron along with firefighters from the Valdosta Fire Department conducted joint live-fire training, April 24-25, 2018, at Moody Air Force Base.

The training was geared towards allowing the firefighters to gain more experience fighting aircraft fires and being able to work together and complete their mission while adapting to working with new people.

“We both have the same overall mission which is to put the fire out,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Nickeson, 23rd CES assistant chief of operations. “We’re in the business of saving lives and keeping people safe, and that familiarity between us really motivates both fire stations to want to continually improve for the future.”

Evaluators judged the firefighter’s ability to work cohesively while also demonstrating that they can safely extinguish a large scale fire.

“We have a mutual aid agreement with the VFD where if at any time we need their assistance we will call for them and they will bring resources to help us,” said Nickeson. “Getting acclimated to working with each other is crucial because at any second we could get called to put out a fire together.”

This training is held twice a year so the Airmen and firefighters can continue to nurture and grow their working relationship.

“We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to come and utilize the advanced equipment and resources that the Air Force has to offer,” said Johnny Henry, VFD battalion chief. “We’ve been training and working hand in hand with Moody (AFB’s) firefighters for years and this training is just a further indication of that strong bond.”

Along with this training the firefighters continue to train and spread knowledge amongst each other through constant communication and joint off-base exercises.

“VFD rarely gets the opportunity to practice extinguishing aircraft fires like we do here at Moody,” said Nickeson. “If there were to be an aircraft fire at the Valdosta Airport, the VFD would be the first on-scene and we want them to be prepared to put it out.”