We Respond the Way We Train
By Senior Airman Kelsey Martinez, 914th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 17, 2021
NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. --
Airmen from the 914th Fire Department conducted routine training here during the unit training assembly September 9.
The search and rescue operations exercise objective was to evaluate the fundamental basics and skills in victim packaging and rescue.
“When we active a crew into a scene we move quickly with purpose,” said Senior Airman Collin Berst, a member of the 914th Fire Department. “Crews perform a systemic search of the area as they progress further into the building.”
Fire “teams” are broken down into three to four members. Teamwork and communication are essential.
“Our Airmen are constantly working on bettering our skills, and our relationships through communication and teamwork,” said Berst. “If those key blocks of foundation fail, our mission becomes compromised.”
Crew members trained with different equipment such as proper protective equipment, ladders, advancing hose lines, thermal cameras, and various tools to help them complete the mission.
“The air cylinders we wear are carbon fiber compressed air cylinders,” said Berst. “They supply us with 60 minutes of breathable air in immediate danger to life and health environments.”
After a search is completed the crew members evacuate the vicinity and reset the equipment into a position of response ready before conducting a “hot wash” to reflect, as a team, how the exercise went. This gives the team an opportunity to identify what went well and what can be improved for future trainings and real-world emergencies.
“The fire service has always been known for its brotherhood and sisterhood,” said Berst. “Our unit strives to keep the tradition of having a bond like no other.”