RAPID CITY, SD (KEVN) – Some of the Rapid City Fire Department’s “aircraft rescue and firefighting” qualified firefighters participated in live training Monday at the Rapid City Regional Airport.
There are approximately 160 members in the Rapid City Fire Department and only 14 are qualified to be aircraft rescue and firefighting firefighters.
“It’s a journey in its own right that we have to follow. Then a whole other level of training on top of the training we all go through,” said Fire Station 8 Captain Neill Goodart.
In addition to physical training, the crew of Station 8 must know the different aircraft they might have to deal with.
“We need to know more about the different types of planes coming into the region and how they work. There’s a whole series of areas that we have to… also follow under FAA guidelines,” Goodart said.
ARFF training must be done by qualified firefighters every year, but in the last two years they have also expanded the offering for some of the city’s firefighters, that way they can also learn how to respond to aircraft-related fires .
“The biggest difference is that in people’s homes there are nooks and crannies, but in an airplane that is small and where everything is very close, there are a lot of nooks and crannies in there,” said Kevin Sosa, firefighter paramedic with the Rapid City Fire Department “When we don’t get our hands on a lot of airplane interiors, it adds another element of unfamiliarity,”
At the end of the training day, many of the city’s firefighters were happy to have participated in the ARFF training.
“Anytime we’re able to do something different, which is outside the norm for us, we always should, and we’re always willing to step in and do it because we don’t have that opportunity all the time. time,” Sosa said.
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