By Cpl. Samuel Han (IMCOM)July 2, 2012
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- The U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Fire Department conducted a joint live fire training exercise with their Republic of Korea counterparts, the Yongsan-gu Fire Department, as a part of their Directorate of Emergency Services mutual-aid agreement, June 28.
Shortly after the Yongsan-gu fire squad arrived on garrison, the two teams listened as the garrison fire chief Alex H. Temporado and assistant chiefs Harold Persons and Chon, Pyong-mo gave a briefing of the scenario.
"We're glad you could make it today to join our exercise," Temporado said. "The primary purpose of today's exercise is to make sure that we can work together as a team when there is a fire on garrison."
Temporado explained that the Yongsan Garrison Fire Department was capable of handling smaller fires. However, in the case of larger fires they would have to rely on the Yongsan-gu Fire Department. In such instances, the Yongsan-gu firefighters would have to listen to the guidance and instructions of the garrison fire department to effectively carry out their duties.
"When on garrison, the Yongsan-gu Fire Department will have to follow our instructions because we have guidelines and protocol that must be followed," Persons said. "This training is about helping firefighters from both departments maintain proficiency, improve inter-operability and enhance the working relationship between the departments."
Through the exercise, the Yongsan-gu Fire Department was familiarized with the garrison layout. In light of the changes to gate operations, they were also informed about the best gates to use when entering the garrison to allow the fire squad to quickly reach emergency sites.
The exercise took place in building 1106, which was scheduled to be demolished. The scenario for the exercise involved live fires and search and rescue operations with two victims who were each located in different rooms. The mission for each team was to rescue one of the victims and extinguish one of the fires. In order to give a walkthrough of the proper procedures, the garrison firefighters went first, with the Yongsan-gu firefighters going next.
Shortly after the exercise began, both teams managed to successfully rescue the victims and extinguish fires in a quick, calm manner.
"This exercise allowed us to practice following instructions," said An, Tae-hee, Yongsan-gu fire squad leader. "We're not used to waiting for orders in the case of a real fire, but we realize that we will have to rely on the guidance of the garrison fire department when we are fighting fires on garrison Yongsan. Today's exercise helped us prepare for that."
To improve partnership and efficiency, the garrison Yongsan fire department and Yongsan-gu fire department participate in four to five mutual aid exercises annually, both off and on post.