Story by SSG Samuel Chen on 08/09/2018As part of the training, firefighters filled the fuel pit with water and practiced fuel fire suppression with the Oshkosh Striker 12, a specialized aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle. This vehicle is equipped with a snozzle, a high reach extendable turret capable of releasing flame retardant material to extinguish large fuel fires.
Fort McCoy Station Chief Hunter Young provided guidance to firefighters on employing their Oshkosh Striker 12, referred to as Crash 12 by the team, during their preparations.
Young says the Crash 12 shoots out 1,250 gallons of water a minute and takes under three minutes to empty. The Crash 12 can also spray a foam coating in lieu of water that can be used to smother fuel fires or cut a rescue path to a burning C-130 military aircraft. This technique enables people to get off planes with a safe escape route.
Army Reserve firefighters attended training alongside Fort McCoy firefighters to learn and share knowledge amongst their civilian peers.
The collective fire training is a series of progressive events designed to challenge firefighters.
"They are going to be out here for 10 or 11 days. Different events every day, doing anything from basic air pack training to moving a downed firefighter," said Young. "This early week stuff helps build their confidence in order to build up to the bigger events in the following week."
Fires are unpredictable from different sizes to complex types. Army Reserve firefighters received an opportunity for hands-on training to refresh and increase their skills.
"Not many people get to see live fire. This training sharpens their skills. Anytime you can put out a fire it's going to help you on the next one," said Young. "They are never the same, so learn as you go, and apply your lessons-learned when you approach the real thing."