MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Bright orange balls of flames rage as a C-130 implodes from an aircraft malfunction in a desolate area near Moody’s flightline.
As the inferno spreads and its fiery glare lights up the night, silhouettes emerge from the red, white and blue lights flashing from firetrucks.
Advancing from the glimmer, the 23d Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) and Valdosta Fire Department’s (VPD) firefighters rush to the scene with hoses and hardhats with one mission -- to win the fight against the blaze during live-fire training.
“The training scenario’s goal was to refresh our firefighting capabilities and be able to proficiently control, access, and extinguish fires while working together as one team,” said Staff Sgt. Trevor Alexis, 23d CES firefighter. “We were able to set aside our ways of training through many years of firefighting expertise and come together to accomplish the mission of extinguishing the aircraft fire.”
While safely extinguishing a simulated aircraft ground emergency during the training, the two organizations enhanced their life-saving capabilities while strengthening their alliance to accomplish their objective.
According to Alexis, live-fire training is critical within the firefighter career field as it is reported to the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) for annual training purposes. AFCEC compiles fire department unit’s annual training in the aspects of critical, non-critical, and local prime beef operations to help maintain proficiency.
The ability to exchange expert knowledge and understand best practices with firefighters from the local community helps Moody’s firefighters stay the course. Training together on Moody’s fire pit training grounds helps firefighters like Jonny Henry, VPD battalion chief, understand the advantages of this partnership.
“The use of Moody’s facilities and fire training simulator has proven to beneficial to the Valdosta Fire Department in ensuring that our ARFF program continues to be sustainable to provide the Valdosta Airport with our services by keeping our personnel certified as required by the Federal Aviation Administration,” said Henry.
“(Moody’s) fire training grounds allow us to be proactive and better prepared for fire emergency and hazardous materials incidents,” Henry added. “Utilizing the available resources correctly along with enhanced learning of fire suppression techniques helps keep ourselves safe and ultimately accomplish our goals of life-safety and emergency mitigation.”
Using their wits and grit, the firefighters successfully beat the heat by entering the collapsed aircraft to reduce asset damage and ensure life safety.
After the training concluded, the firefighters witnessed the final flames flicker out and looked forward to the next opportunity.
“The biggest takeaway from this training was understanding the capabilities we had from one section to another and working together to accomplish one mission,” said Alexis. “This strengthens our relationship tremendously and gives our big inbound of new personnel a chance to make (connections).
“We will continue to build this alliance to always supporting special city events and welcoming each other to funded or non-funded training exercises,” Alexis added.