DVIDS – News – Sailor students learn to manage smoke and extinguish flames in the dark


JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Virginia – On an army ship, sailors operate under the precept “Everyone is a firefighter”.

This implies that every capable corps must fully deploy in an emergency to save the ship and crew at sea or otherwise.

Sailors in training at Army Transportation School’s 88K Watercraft Operator Course rehearsed these rescue procedures and more during live fire exercises April 16 at a fire training facility on Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

“Fighting fires is of critical importance,” said the course drill sergeant. 1st Class William Anderson. “If we don’t have the proper firefighting skills on board in a situation where you are very isolated at sea, this ship is going to sink and the chances of the crew surviving are very slim. “

The young sailors – in the second week of the 1.5-month Military Occupational Specialty course – initially spent time in the classroom learning to wear protective gear and use the self-contained breathing apparatus.

“Then we teach them how to perform pipe handling, door cooling and entry procedures, as well as the proper procedures to get into our fire trainer,” said Rich Prevoznik, senior firefighting instructor. ‘fire.

The fire simulator – a two-level facility with stairs and multiple chambers – can generate smoke and flames resulting in temperatures of up to 400 degrees. During entry exercises, soldiers are required to properly don their equipment, prepare hoses and other equipment, and access dark, smoke-filled rooms where fires burn.

Tasks look easier on paper than they actually are, observed Pvt. Jacob Melcher, originally from Nashville, Tenn.

“Your anxiety and stress levels go up because you can’t see anything through the smoke,” he said, also describing the darkness as disorienting. “I was breathing fast and going through my oxygen tank very quickly.”

Pfc. Benjamin Szulgit elaborated on the mental and physical demands of exercise.

“For a lot of people, it was about getting over the fear of flames and not being able to see,” said the 21-year-old New Yorker. “On a physical level, it was about getting over the heat – the stress of wearing that heavy costume. Going as a team made things a lot easier.

Pvt. Souleyman Drama had to endure the room entrance duties twice due to breathing problems.

“I found out I had claustrophobia when it comes to wearing a mask in the dark,” said Milwaukeean, 20. “It surprised me. It really boiled down to not trusting the equipment and letting that dominate what I know in my head. When I went the second and third time, it was cool. to see me overcome my fears and go through them. “

All 88,000 students – assigned to Echo Company, 266th Quartermaster Battalion – performed the training tasks according to standards.

During the first few weeks of the PWC operator course, students learn other emergency procedures such as drowning protection and man overboard rescues. In the second half of the course, students learn basic MOS tasks. Their training culminates in a field exercise that takes place in Chesapeake Bay, off the shores of the Little Creek-Fort Story Joint Expeditionary Base.

The course trains an average of 144 students per year. The School of Transportation is one of the military training institutions aligned with the Combined Arms Support Command, headquartered at Fort Lee, the Army Sustainment Center of Excellence.

Date taken: 22.04.2021
Date posted: 22.04.2021 13:59
Story ID: 394483
Site: we

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