By Pfc. Nicholas P. Baird, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- pan style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: 16px; color: #000000;">
Before sun rise, while
it’s dark and cool, the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighters set out early to attack a
training fuel fire during live fire training at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry
Point, Oct. 16, 2015.
The Marines must bear
the blazing heat when combating the billowing fires properly and quickly. The live
fire training is one of many different ways the ARFF Marines train to respond
to flight line emergencies.
During the training
exercise, three Marines joined experienced counter parts as they tackled their
first live fire at the training pits on the flight line.
“Some of the new
Marines have never seen live fire before,” said Cpl. Tyler J. Hallinan, an
aircraft rescue and firefighting specialist with Marine Wing Support Squadron
274. “It is important that they get to know how to use proper form and build
confidence when putting out these fires.”
Marines that enlist
into the aircraft rescue and firefighting specialist occupation, arrive at
Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas after Marine Combat Training to
complete their schooling. There the Marines learn the basics on how to operate,
service, and test aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles, how to use
firefighting systems, and the basic techniques and procedures to firefighting
“While the Marines
are at the schoolhouse, the fires can be turned on and off,” said Sgt. Tobin W.
Wheeler, an aircraft rescue and firefighting specialist with Headquarters and
Headquarters Squadron. “Once the Marines get near the fire and feel the heat,
it becomes more of a reality. It is either fight or flight. The senior Marines
are there as safeties to ensure that they do fight and not flight.”
ARFF Marines undergo
constant training throughout their careers. The training they receive makes
them highly qualified to respond to any flight line emergency at the air
station and help save lives.
The training gives the
Marines the experience of fighting an actual fire, said Wheeler. The more they
practice this, the easier it is to get out of the truck and do what they have
to, to put out the fire.