99th CES, local fire department battle simulated aircraft fire
By Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie, 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 25, 2018
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- Firefighters assigned to the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron and a Clark County firefighter trained together on a simulated aircraft fire Oct. 22 to Oct. 24 at the fire department training area on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
The purpose of the training is to ensure that personnel are trained in case of a fire emergency or aircraft crash in a multitude of different situations.
“The training is important for two reasons: to make sure we maintain our certifications and also to make sure we work on our proficiency levels while out here in case we do actually have the ‘big one’,” said Gordon Mincey, 99th CES training chief. “It gives our guys confidence, and incident commanders, confidence for them to actually go into a scenario and perform as firefighters.”
While Nellis and Creech primarily participate in the training, local fire departments can occasionally take part. In this particular simulation, a member of the Clark County Fire Department participated alongside Nellis and Creech firefighters.
“Nellis allows us to come and use their facility, but I was the only one lacking the training so they allowed me to come and train with their personnel,” said Brad Evans, a Clark County fire department engineer.
Training with local first responders gives the Nellis Airmen extra experience in the event there is an emergency requiring the two organizations to work together.
“By training with our mutual aid partners, we ensure that all involved personnel have an opportunity to understand the capabilities of the department they will respond with should the need arise,” said Staff Sgt. James Avdoian-Salas, 99th CES firefighter and NCO in charge of training. “Furthermore, sharing of resources is a vital part of fire and emergency services, as it helps us to improve the quality of service that we can provide to our communities.”
The Nellis fire training area provides firefighters from off-base fire departments to get unique training opportunities that they would not be able to have anywhere else.
One of the main training areas is a simulated C-130 crash that is fueled by a controlled propane fire where temperatures inside and outside the aircraft can reach over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are also additional exercises scheduled throughout the year.