Fire departments forge partnership in live-fire annual training

Story and photos by Greg Jones
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

The U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Fire Department trained with the Stuttgart Airport Fire Department at the Stuttgart Airport June 2 to 6 as part of annual joint training requirements. The fire department trains annually with the Stuttgart Airport Fie Department to ensure effective interoperability and to continue to hone their skills in the specific types of fire responses needed at airports.

“Since the airport has both military and civilian aircraft here, and we use the same flight-line, it’s important for us to train together with the airport department so we can work well together,” said USAG Stuttgart fire chief Karl Dörsam. “We do a full week of joint training with them at least once annually, and we have a very good working relationship with them.”The training equipment included an airplane mock-up built of shipping containers, and a special piece of equipment that simulates a spilled fuel fire. Using these devises and other aids, the fire departments trained together on tasks ranging from rescuing passengers from the inside of a burning aircraft, to extinguishing a burning engine, to battling a raging fuel-spill blaze.
Training with actual fires instead of just conducting regular drills and other tasks, is known as live-fire training and gives the firefighters a much more engaging experience, providing realistic training that helps hone their skills.
“The training equipment we have here simulates a lot of different types of fire,” said Dörsam. “Live fire is much different than just doing drills. You have the heat, the smoke … It makes much better training.”

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