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Firefighters smoke rapid intervention training

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Moody’s 23d Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters and the Lowndes County Fire Department enhanced their rescue capabilities during rapid intervention fire training, July 31 to Aug. 3.

Conducted by the Alabama Fire College, the instructors taught the participants how to rescue downed firefighters in an emergency situation.

“It’s our job to rescue people that find themselves in trouble,” said Shane Stoudenmire, Alabama Fire College adjunct instructor. “However, one of the toughest things you do in the fire service is actually having to rescue a downed firefighter. This course teaches the skills and techniques to help achieve that.”

During the four-day course, students learned about firefighter self-rescue, as well as team rescue efforts.

“The best way to get yourself out of a situation is to learn how not to get yourself into one,” said Stoudenmire. “We teach self-rescue concepts including how to come out of windows and techniques they can perform to rescue themselves.”

In addition, instructors taught crews how to locate a downed firefighter, perform basic skills such as CPR, and get them out of a burning building as fast as possible. To practice this technique, students broke off into groups of two, four or eight and attempted to rescue a simulated firefighter trapped in a basement.

“The skills they taught us don’t just stop at the 16 guys that were here today,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Powell, 23d CES crew chief. “Now that we know what to do, we can go back and train the 47 Airmen that are back at the squadron. From there, as we move to other stations, we’re able to teach it to the Airmen we see there. It may have been basic skills that we learned, but they go a long way.”