Moody, local Firefighters partner for aerial training

  • Published
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga.— Airmen from the 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron partnered with firefighters from Lowndes County and Valdosta to receive aerial certification at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Feb. 12-16, 2024.

The week-long training certified both military and local firefighters to operate the 75-foot ladder that rests atop the firetruck.

“This training is important to support the mission we have on base and also the mission we have supporting the local Lowndes County community,” said Staff Sgt. Logan Williams, 23rd CES lead firefighter. “This course allows our new and upcoming driver operators to have a real-world and hands-on experience of going through practical scenarios in case they need to use it during a crucial moment.”

The automatic aid agreement, established in October 2021 between Moody AFB and Lowndes County Fire Department, ensures rapid response to emergencies on base and in the surrounding community. Additionally, Airmen gain the advantage of increased real-world training and experience. While the automatic aid agreement can facilitate structural firefighting training for Team Moody, it also serves as a means to share skill-sets across both parties – reinforcing the emergency services’ life-saving capabilities.

“This training allowed us the opportunity to better learn how each other operates in an emergency situation that requires aerial ladder support,” said Sergeant Carl Walker, Lowndes County Fire Rescue and class participant. “It also gave us a chance to build bonds and friendships between departments, which helps us deliver the best service to our communities.”

Both local firefighters and Airmen spent the first two days of the training together in a classroom followed by three days of hands-on instruction with the hydraulic-operated aerial apparatus. Each participant in the course worked through scenarios that required a rapid response using the ladder during an emergency.

“This training really highlighted the importance of communication,” said Airman 1st Class Sarrah Matla, 23rd CES firefighter. “It’s always great working with the local firefighters because when we actually get in an emergency situation, we already know how to operate together as one team.”