Inside of Ocala's Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Training
OCALA - There was a whole lot of fire burning in Ocala Sunday. Aircraft Rescue Firefighters underwent their annual training exercises needed for certification. We go inside the blaze and find out Ocala has the only ARFF truck in the county.
The job of an aircraft rescue firefighter is very different from a typical firefighter. One of their missions is to secure the plane of all hazards. However dealing with something so prone to catching fire can be a challenge.
Firefighters take classes to learn more about their job. But there's no better teacher then real life experience-- Or perhaps simulated exercises like this one. It looks and feels real but the trainings are controlled.
Kellogg Community College from Michigan travels all over the United States with their plane and specialized equipment for training; this time they're in Ocala. "This was actually designed after a sob 340, the inside is the exact same width going down the aisle. The place is pretty close to the real thing," Allen Fine an instructor driver for Kellogg Community College said.
An aircraft emergency on the ground can involve a high number of casualties. This is why it's so important for these firefighters to arrive at the scene with their equipment and gear quickly. "Speed is so important for us because fire grows very fast, so we've gotta get ahead of it and get it knocked down before it builds up," said Anthony Ortiz a captain for Ocala Fire Rescue.
Ortiz also says airport firefighters have advanced training when it comes to extinguishing burning aviation fluid; mainly to keep a path open for passengers to evacuate.
They also use different types of gears. "The gear that you saw that was silver that is specifically designed for aircraft firefighting. It has a higher heat resistance so the guys are able to get in there and deal with those hotter fires that they have when you have all that fluid that is coming out of the aircraft."
Ocala Fire Rescue responds to any aircraft emergencies that happen within city limits. Ortiz says the trainings make real-life assignments easier to handle. "We had an actual aircraft emergency it was off site but it was just a little ways off from the airport that we responded to a couple of years back... So we've had our share of incidents and you know this training really helps us get prepared for dealing with these types of incidents," Ortiz added.
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