• Pfc. Christopher R. Kerr, a firefighter with the 802nd Ordnance Company from Gainesville, Ga., demonstrates a fog pattern while Spc. Earl Warren Jr., also a firefighter with the 802nd Ordnance Company, braces him from behind for support. Fog patterns are used by firefighters to shield themselves from the initial heat of a blaze.  The demonstration was part of a firefighter training exercise at Blue Grass Army Depot, Ky. Pfc. Kerr resides in Buford, Ga.

    Soldiers and civilians come together to fight fires

    Pfc. Christopher R. Kerr, a firefighter with the 802nd Ordnance Company from Gainesville, Ga., demonstrates a fog pattern while Spc. Earl Warren Jr., also a firefighter with the 802nd Ordnance Company, braces him from behind for support. Fog patterns...

  • Spc. Amber L. Ilstrup, a firefighter with the 811th Ordnance Company from Rainelle, W.Va., drives the tactical firefighting truck during a firefighter training exercise at Blue Grass Army Depot, Ky.  Spc. Ilstrup resides in Bowling Green, Ohio.

    Soldiers and civilians come together to fight fires

    Spc. Amber L. Ilstrup, a firefighter with the 811th Ordnance Company from Rainelle, W.Va., drives the tactical firefighting truck during a firefighter training exercise at Blue Grass Army Depot, Ky. Spc. Ilstrup resides in Bowling Green, Ohio.

  • Spc. John R. Epperly (left) a firefighter with the 802nd Ordnance Company from Gainesville, Ga., assists Cameron Taylor, a firefighter with Blue Grass Army Depot Fire Department, as they feed the attack-line hose inside a simulated burning structure during a joint military-civilian firefighter training exercise at Blue Grass Army   Depot, Ky.

    Soldiers and civilians come together to fight fires

    Spc. John R. Epperly (left) a firefighter with the 802nd Ordnance Company from Gainesville, Ga., assists Cameron Taylor, a firefighter with Blue Grass Army Depot Fire Department, as they feed the attack-line hose inside a simulated burning structure...

One team attacked the faceless enemy from the front door of the smoking building, while the other team mounted the roof to contain the threat from above. Although the teams were a combination of Army Reserve Soldiers and civilians, they had one thing in common - they were all firefighters, and the enemy they faced was the smoking fire filling the building.

For the duration of operation Golden Cargo 2009, the civilian-staffed Blue Grass Army Depot Fire Department is receiving assistance from firefighter Soldiers. A team of ten firefighters assembled from the 802nd Ordnance Company, Gainesville, Ga., and the 811th Ordnance Company, Fort Gillem, Ga., is training and working to supplement the civilian fire department. During a joint military-civilian training exercise held July 17, the Soldiers and civilians responded as a team to a simulated structure fire.

"Today we did search and rescue, ventilation, and basic fire-fighting drills," said Spc. Amber L. Ilstrup, a firefighter with the 811th Ordnance Company from Rainelle, W.Va. Ilstrup stated that as a Reservist, each opportunity to train and refresh skills is valuable.

"Being here a whole two weeks, we get to do what we're supposed to be doing," she said. "It brings back all the knowledge we're supposed to have."

"The drill went down very well, I thought, as a coordinated effort," said Capt. Wayne Adams of the Blue Grass Army Depot Fire Dept. He explained why working together with the firefighter Soldiers was a good experience, saying it allowed his firefighters to see how things can be done outside his department.

"It pulls new people in and let's us learn from them," Adams said. "It also let's our instructors get experience training them."

Prior to the exercise, the Army firefighters also had the opportunity to demonstrate the unique firefighting capabilities of their Tactical Fire-fighting Truck.

"If an airplane breaks and there's fuel on the runway, the ground sweeps will activate with either water or foam and push the debris away," explained Staff Sgt. Christopher W. McGhee, 811th Ordnance Company fire chief.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16