CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea (Nov. 30, 2021) – U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Fire and Emergency Services conducted live fire training with Cheonan Northwest Fire Department and Asan Fire Department Nov. 23 at the FES training area.
According to Rucci Hung-pyo, assistant chief of training for Humphreys FES, this event was an important step forward after the pandemic forced a pause in training with off-post partners.
After a two-year break, the three fire departments re-established their collaborative training with the intent to plan more combined exercises in the future. Cheonan Northwest and Asan Fire Departments arrived ready to observe and execute real-world fire emergency scenarios.
“We came to observe new training facility and see if they have a different technique we can take back home,” said Dong Il, Cheonan Northwest Fire Department assistant chief of special operations. “We just wanted to see the culture of the fire department here and basically to see what the other side is doing.”
The live fire training included how to handle the fire hose in a team stack, how to extinguish a class A fire from both inside and outside a window, and how to properly enter a burning building. In six man teams, the firefighters navigated through fiery stairwells and confined spaces to extinguish 1,200-degree-Fahrenheit flames. A team waited outside the building with a hose, ready to spray anyone who emerged with ash-covered coats and pants. Teams discussed strategy and techniques as they awaited their turn.
“It is important that we learn from each other,” said Marcus L. Shepard, the deputy fire chief for Humphreys FES. “On post we have strength in numbers, which means everyone has a very defined role when it comes to emergencies. The local partners are not as heavily staffed as we are, so they have ingenious ways to accomplish some of the same goals we accomplish with less people. We learn a lot from each other as we establish teamwork.”
Rucci led the training and also gave the firefighters instruction on several pieces of equipment. He demonstrated how to effectively wear personal protective gear, operate the breathing apparatus, and test the personal alert safety system device.
Once the firefighters put on their equipment and entered the burning facility, members of different fire departments worked seamlessly as a team.
“The more and more we do this type of training together it will help both of the communities,” said Dong. “We want to have more of this training relationship in the future.”
The combined training cemented the interoperability of the partner fire departments, enabling them to serve the Humphreys community more consistently, whether on post or off post, added Shepard.