Face of Defense: Marines Hone Firefighting Skills
By Marine Corps Cpl. J.R. Heins
2nd Marine Expeditionary Force
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C., Aug. 20, 2014 More than 20 members of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point's Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting unit practiced extinguishing simulated aircraft fires to prepare them for the conditions and stressors of real missions.
Marine Corps Cpl. Kyle James, left, and Marine Corps Sgt. Ruben Ochoa battle a simulated aircraft fire during Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting training at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Aug. 14, 2014. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. J.R. Heins
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The purpose of the Aug. 14 training “is to familiarize the Marines with being around fire and the techniques they would use to combat it," said Marine Corps Cpl. Brian Lorys, a firefighter with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.
The Marines use a Mobile Aircraft Firefighting Training Device to obtain the most realistic training, according to Lorys, who hails from Bradley Brook, New York. The MAFTD provides several types of training situations for the Marines by releasing fire from different directions at various heights and locations on the aircraft.
Everyone who works on a fire truck is required to take the training, Lorys said.
"The training helps everyone," said Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Cory Carden, a firefighter with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274.
"For the newer people, it allows them to experience real-life situations,” Carden said. “And for the people who have been here a while, it keeps everything fresh in their heads and helps build muscle memory."
Each situation the Marines encounter during the training simulates a real aircraft fire, Carden said.
"If we do not take this training seriously and suddenly the real thing rolls around we won't be ready and someone will get hurt," Lorys said. "It is our job to remain prepared to face the fire for hours on end if needed. How intense we train will reflect how well we perform."