Barksdale, Shreveport firefighters join forces

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nia Jacobs
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Firefighters from the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron and Shreveport Airport Firemen completed a joint training exercise to extinguish a simulated aircraft crash on Mar. 9 here.

The firemen worked together using both military and civilian training to practice numerous techniques that would be used in the event of a real-life airplane crash.

This training not only prepares firemen for real world circumstances but it also helps strengthen the relationship between the Shreveport and Barksdale Fire Departments, said Tech Sgt. Corey Loesch, 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron assistant chief of operations.

The two departments work together and train together annually.

“Every opportunity we have to work with the Shreveport guys, we love to take advantage,” said Loesch.

Loesch says this exercise is a great opportunity for both fire departments to observe each other and feel comfortable relying on one another.

“We get eyes on them and they get eyes on us,” said Loesch. “So they know that we are perfectly capable if they need us in a situation.”

During these exercises the two things they focus on are technique and execution, said Capt. Brian Whitener, 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron lead firefighter

The teams use the same technique of controlling the fire surrounding the aircraft while also extinguishing the parts of the aircraft that are on fire..

“We’re looking for any ground fires near the fuselage and trying to push it away,” said Whitener. “We’re trying to maintain the integrity of the structure so all we wanna do is push the fire away and extinguish it at the same time.”

Loesch said the training consists of different aspects of an aircraft crash such as fuel fires, engine fires, interior fires and on some occasions they incorporate rescue operations.

The Shreveport Fire Department is required by the Federal Aviation Administration to complete this training annually.

For the past ten years Barksdale firefighters have hosted, provided necessary equipment and participated in the training.

Whitener said that in the future he would love to see more training being done with the Shreveport Fire department.

“I would like to see more team training along with structure, medical and motor vehicle accidents,” said Whitener. “Just any type of training that we can build a better team with.”

“I see that as best for both Shreveport and Barksdale fire,” said Whitener.

The two departments work and train together under a mutual aid agreement.

Loesch says that training with the Shreveport Fire Department more than once a year would be very beneficial for everyone involved.

“Not just on the aircraft side of things but for structural firefighting,” said  Loesch. “I think that would be a great opportunity for both parties.”