OKINAWA, Japan --
Since its establishment in 1977, Marine Corps Bases Japan Fire Department has evolved into the Marine Corps Installation Pacific Fire and Emergency Services, one of the Department of Defense’s premier all-hazard response agencies.
MCIPAC F&ES’ provides fire suppression, emergency medical attention, technical rescue, hazardous material cleanup, and fire prevention services that protect both life and property throughout the community of Okinawa, Japan.
Over the years, MCIPAC F&ES has streamlined its processes leading to a notable increase in efficiency and capability, along with the requisition of new innovative equipment, in response to the ever-changing mission of MCIPAC.
Ulysses Taormina, a Chicago native and the regional fire chief of MCIPAC F&ES, stated that consistent training is vital to readiness and capability while operating in the unique geographical location of Okinawa.
“We live to train and train to live, this is done on a daily basis." Ulysses Taormina, MCIPAC F&ES regional fire chief
Taormina explained that there are extensive mandatory training requirements set by national standards, DoD regulations, and Marine Corps Policies. MCIPAC F&ES excessively surpasses these requirements on a yearly basis.
Striving to increase their capabilities and readiness, the quest for new life saving equipment is one of MCIPAC F&FS’s many priorities.
“We are in the process of requisitioning the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard remote water rescue vehicles," said Taormina. "They will have the ability to rapidly deploy to persons in need and have the ability to rescue multiple people at once."
Reinforcing Taormina’s statements, MCIPAC F&ES and their Camp Foster Fire Department firefighters participated in a simulated victim rescue during embankment rope training on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Sept. 28, 2022.
During embankment rope training, the MCIPAC F&ES firefighters were split into two groups; one group operating the rope system, while the other group performed the rescue. The rescue teams then transferred their simulated victim to a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman with Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command, Okinawa.
The readiness and capability of MCIPAC F&ES is directly correlated to the consistency of training and development of each individual firefighter.
“We hire the best of the best and we educate our staff. We then equip them with the industry’s best tools and equipment, evaluating our efforts and continuously seeking self-improvement,” said Taormina.
MCIPAC F&ES not only focuses on training their firefighters, but also provided MCIPAC personnel proper education on the use of fire prevention equipment during Fire Prevention Week in October.
For more valuable safety information regarding fire prevention, go to the National Fire Protection Association’s website: https://www.nfpa.org/Events/Events/Fire-Prevention-Week