Spangdahlem Fire Trains with Local Emergency Personnel
By Tech. Sgt. Chad Warren
52 FW Public Affairs
SPEICHER, Germany - Members of the Spangdahlem Fire Department joined forces with local fire and Red Cross personnel during a large scale fire and medical response exercise in Speicher, Germany, Nov. 18, 2017.
“The purpose of Saturday's exercise in Speicher was to provide an opportunity for us to train with our German brothers and sisters on joint emergency mitigation tactics and strategies,” said Master Sgt. Jordan Boyd, 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department assistant chief for training.
Since the base and local emergency personnel have an agreement to help each other if the need arises, training together is critical to the success of future potential emergencies.
“We as a fire department need to ensure that the population around Spangdahlem can count on Spangdahlem Air Base to effectively help dealing with any emergency that arises,” said Senior Airman Nicolas Decollibus, 52nd CES Fire Department driver/operator. “Our priority in the Spangdahlem Fire Department is the well-being of our citizens on base as well as the local nationals in our surrounding area.”
Although both Air Force and local emergency personnel are well trained, it is important to work together in order to familiarize themselves with techniques and equipment different from their own.
“It helps to better hone our skills under stressful situations that have a large number of responders all trying to work together,” said Decollibus. “We get to see how a big mass triage is set up all the way to trying to navigate through the small roads and alleys that we don't normally drive through. We also get to see how a German made fire truck's capabilities differ from an American made fire truck's capability.”
The exercise was a success, and allowed both local and base personnel the opportunity to see how they conduct large-scale emergency response. Although the tactics and equipment might differ slightly, the goal of saving lives is always the same.
“At the end of the day, a fire is a fire and a victim is a victim. When someone needs help, our jobs are still the same,” said Decollibus. “Whether it's the medics or the local fire departments, we can all seamlessly work together to execute the same mission which is to protect the people, the property, and the environment.