GUILFORD, CT – Professional firefighters from Guilford have been invited by U.S. Submarine Base Nay in Groton to be added to a fire departments automatic response list in the event of a fire on one of its sub- sailors.
Guilford responded to that call. “In order to be ready,” in early November, Guilford was one of a dozen regional fire and rescue services to participate in a “full-scale firefighting exercise”.
The exercise provided more than a dozen regional firefighter and first responder organizations the opportunity to experience shipboard firefighting and Navy best practices.
The training was organized by the Naval Submarine Support Facility. During the exercise, Navy firefighters and sailors collaborated with civilian firefighters and first responders to fight a fictitious major fire aboard the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), at dock at the base.
During the full-scale fire response exercise, firefighters learned the “ins and outs of a real military submarine”. According to professional firefighters from Guilford, they learned about onboard fire extinguishing systems, how to access and connect to overhead stations powered by firefighting, how to access the ship, how to fight fires in the master room. machines and how to treat victims.
“It has been an incredible opportunity to train with our fellow regional partners in the event of a major incident at this facility,” said Guilford Fire Department Deputy Chief Michael Shove, who also attended the training. .
The exercise provided these civilian firefighters and first responders not only with base and submarine orientation, but also experience working alongside their Navy counterparts.
“Our goal has always been to change the mindset of submarine crews when it comes to responding to waterfront emergencies,” said Captain Daniel Rossler, Commander of the NSSF.
“Although they are resilient, submariners don’t have to do everything themselves. These regional firefighters and emergency responders have the training, equipment and expertise to assist our base fire department and submarine crews, and it is important for us to train and get to get to know each other. “
Community fire departments were instrumental in supporting Navy firefighters and crew during a 2012 fire aboard the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755 ) at Portsmouth Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.
“It has been a great day of training and gives us a great understanding of the complexity of a fire aboard a submarine,” Shove told Patch.