JB Langley-Eustis firefighters rope a way to preparedness

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Areca T. Bell
  • 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Firefighters assigned to the 633rd Civil Engineer Squadron participated in a Rescue Technician One Course, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, from Sept. 24 to Oct. 18, 2018.

Instructors from the 312th Training Squadron at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, taught 11 Airmen how to run emergencies during rescue operations over the course of 18 training days. This included both classroom and hands-on training.

“All right, so we start with block one, (which are) normal rope rescue principles and tying knots, what gears are rated at and things like that,” said Tech. Sgt. Max Ribera, 312th TRS Rescue Technician Course instructor supervisor. “Everything builds on itself so, we then (move on) to low angle rescue then we start doing rappelling to a victim and pickoffs of suspended victims, which is just a victim on the line, passed out.”

According to Ribera, the firefighters participated in several exercises where they constructed systems to rescue simulated victims via rappelling. The firefighters also built and completed a highline, which is an advanced technical expert build, before moving on to their final rope rescue scenario and confined space training.

Although the training meant the firefighters had to absorb a lot of information in a short time, Staff Sgt. Isaac Sunnock, 633rd CES lead firefighter, said that it is well worth it having instructors on location to train the most Airmen at one time.

“Here at (JB Langley-Eustis), we do have rescue missions,” Sunnock said. “We have a rescue truck, so it's always better for us when we have more (trained people) because that's more guys that know what they're doing. So, this just frees up a lot of time and resources for our shifts.”

The firefighters at JB Langley-Eustis don’t often have to rescue victims at low or high angles or in confined spaces, but Sunnock stressed that preparedness is key when responding to emergencies.

It's not something that is frequently used, but just like anything with our job, just because it's not frequently used, it doesn't mean we don't need to be proficient at it,” Sunnock said. “When it does happen, we do need experts at the ready so that we can respond accordingly and rescue someone when they need us.”

Whether or not these Airmen will be called to perform the skills during this training, the 633rd CES Fire Department is prepared to respond to emergencies and aid those who may need them in times of distress.