NEWS | Dec. 15, 2020

JBSA firefighters conduct semi-annual aircraft rescue, firefighting training

By Alex Delgado 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department conducted semi-annual aircraft live-fire training Nov. 18 and 19 at the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland fire training grounds.

The training event included firefighters from JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and helped ensure all members maintain Airport Firefighter Certification through the Department of Defense Firefighter Certification Program and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress. 

“Our members must be ready to provide first-class emergency services delivery for the pilots and passengers that frequent JBSA-Kelly Field Annex,” said Michael Guzman, Joint Base San Antonio Fire Emergency Services deputy chief. “We have a five-minute response time for an unannounced inflight aircraft emergency and a one-minute response time for an announced inflight aircraft emergency. These firefighting professionals are ready at a moment’s notice.”

The training satisfies requirements outlined in the Air Force Fire Emergency Services Training Program and the National Fire Protection Association 1403 Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions. 

Training staff members created realistic scenarios allowing firefighters to sharpen their skills combating aircraft fires using bumper and roof turrets to simulate creating a blanket of foam to suffocate the fire. Trainees operate attack lines to fight ground fires, engine fires and interior fires in the flight deck and cargo bay.

The training also allowed responding firefighters to put the Aircraft Pre-Fire Plan into practice, bringing Mutual Aid Agreement partners together to maximize combined effectiveness, further enhancing response capabilities.

“It is imperative that we are able to work seamlessly with our community partners, Boeing Aerospace, Bexar County and City of San Antonio, so that we’re on the same page if we’re called to respond to an aircraft emergency on or off the installation,” Guzman said.  “It is important that our incident commanders coordinate and practice effective tactics, strategy and communication.”

Training with agencies from the surrounding community is conducted annually in the form of table top and live field exercises.

This year’s training was conducted using a Mobile Aircraft Fire Training facility because the Aircraft Fire Training Facility at the JBSA-Lackland Kelly Field Annex is currently undergoing repair and maintenance.

“The show must go on!” Guzman said. "The MAFT does a great job of providing realism to our aircraft rescue firefighting training."