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Firefighters heat things up in test

5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Published: 12:00AM November 24th, 2015

Soldiers with the 537th Firefighter Detachment conducted structure fire training for a single story burn at McChord Field Nov. 19 to prepare for their upcoming deployment.

“This training helps validate that we are ready for the mission and we are physically fit,” said Staff Sgt. Ray Fulmer, a firefighter, 537th Firefighter Detachment. “We are training today to show our command that we have been working together as a team to get the mission done.”

The detachment was certified by the Directorate of Emergency Services last month, but are validating and refreshing its skills before a nine-month deployment to Romania. According to Fulmer, all firefighters must have Level 1 certification before training. The Level 1 firefighter performs firefighting activities, which include laying hose and performing fire containment and extinguishing tasks.

“We receive biannual training from the Joint Base Lewis-McChord firefighter teams to keep us certified and ready for any mission,” Fulmer said.

Before the training began, the assigned leader conducted a gear check that included boots, helmet, coat, pants, hood, suspenders and gloves in order to protect the firefighters from smoke, heat and other dangerous materials. They also ensured the communication equipment was serviceable and in good connection.

The firefighters divided into groups of seven before entering the building. This included three firefighters to fight the fire, two firefighters for backup safety, two firefighters to search and rescue any victims and the commander in charge of the team.

After the firefighters extinguished the blaze and rescued the victim, they exited the building and performed first aid. The commander kept communication with the team and accountability of all firefighters throughout the search.

According to Capt. Dustin Eggleston, 537th Firefighter Detachment commander, the training was a success and the firefighters met all training requirements.

“Thanks to the JBLM firefighter team and firefighter chief of training for the help and support for making this training a success and validating the firefighters,” he said. “The team is ready for the upcoming deployment.”