Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
Combat Center and Twentynine Palms firefighters came together to participate in live-fire training exercises at the fire department training area April 19.
The fire departments cross trained to handle the different scenarios they may encounter while on duty.
These training exercises are used to provide realistic situations in a controlled environment. Firefighters ran through three different scenarios created during the exercises. They ran basic advancement drills where the firefighters were taught the basics on how to spray a fire and advance until they reach the main flame.
Another scenario used by the firefighters was the two story advance drill where they must go either up or down a case of stairs fighting the fire until they reach the main flame.
The third scenario the firefighters faced was a garage fire scenario. The fighterfights had to enter the garage through a back door and extinguish a car that was on fire. After extinguishing the car, they used the advance method to reach the main flame.
All of the situations they faced forced the firefighters to make judgments off of smoke and fire conditions.
“This is the most awesome training you can get around this area,” said Lt. Alfonso Razo, Driver, Engine 451, Combat Center Fire Department. “This helps us identify fire behavior and it’s a great learning experience.”
The Combat Center Fire Department does more than handling structure fires. The fire fighters also handle traffic collisions, medical aid and they respond to situations in Twentynine Palms if the Twentynine Palms Fire Department lacks the manpower.
The Combat Center Fire Department is split between two different locations. One fire station located in Camp Wilson and the other is located on mainside. Each fire station handles problems that are local to its location.
The firefighters work two days in the fire station and then get two days off. While they are on duty, they work in teams of four.
“I love the guys I work with, they are incredible,” Razo said. “They are my brothers and there is no describing the bond we have. My life depends on them and their life depends on me.”
According to Razo, firefighters are part of a tightly-knit community.
“I love my job, it is the greatest job in the world,” said Capt. Tom Fowler, Engine 451, Combat Center Fire Department. “It includes moments of sheer excitement with many hours of boredom waiting for that call to come in.”
While the fire department waits for the call, they plan on continuing training and inviting the Twentynine Palms Fire Department for more cross-training exercises in the future.