By Staff Sgt. Julius ClaytonJune 12, 2014
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - Making it a team effort is nothing new to firefighters who depend on each other when they are called to battle a fire. That same concept was on display Tuesday as the Camp Arifjan fire department welcomed some local Kuwait fire chiefs, directors and managers during a partnership tour.
According to Mark Lawler, fire chief of Area Support Group-Kuwait, "This tour is one of many visits that we are using to lay the groundwork for improving relations, we have toured some of their fire stations recently and saw their capabilities, we thought it was time for us to host them and show what firefighting capabilities we have", said Lawler.
Col. Tariq Abdelrahman Almnais, the Alahmadi Governance Fire Department manager said, "We must get to know each other in order to cooperate and work together effectively, I believe events like these will help foster a closer working relationship between us", Almnais continued.
Lawler said that there is currently no written mutual aid agreement between Kuwait and the United States. He added that Army Regulation 420-1 talks about and even encourages mutual aid between Department of Defense installations and their international partners.
A mutual aid agreement in emergency services is an agreement among emergency responders to lend assistance across jurisdictional boundaries. This occurs when emergency response requirements exceeds local resources, such as a multiple alarm fire according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.
"I have found them [agreements] very beneficial and useful in my federal career", said Lawler.
The tour included a sit down discussion about policies, procedures and the capabilities of each fire station in the local area of responsibility (AOR), then the visiting Kuwait fire chiefs, directors and managers were given a walking tour of one of Camp Arifjan's fire stations and shown some of the equipment used by the firefighters.
"It has been helpful to see what equipment they use and compare it to ours", said Almnais, "so that in the future we can know the capabilities of each other in case we have to work together."
The tour concluded with a visit to the Directorate of Emergency Services dispatch center, where the visitor's were shown how the dispatch operations coordinate with the fire station during an emergency.
Both parties agreed that this continuing process is beneficial to each side and that by working together they can foster a mutual working respect for one another.