News Icon

News: Miramar firefighters train for summer brushfire season

Story by Cpl. Melissa WengerSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Miramar firefighters train for summer brushfire season Sgt. Melissa Wenger

Alex Ramos, probationary firefighter, is checking for a constant flow of water to his hose during a fire suppression drill aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Feb. 13. Ramos is acting as one of two nozzlemen during this training evolution.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. - The Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Fire Department is preparing to tackle a common summertime foe: wildland fires. The firefighters of Engines 60 and 61 conducted wildland fire suppression training aboard MCAS Miramar Feb. 13.

According to Daniel Hernandez, assistant fire chief and proctor for this evaluation, this develops particularly important skill sets for Southern California firefighters.

“During just about every wildland fire I’ve ever been around, in one way or another we’re using water tenders and engines for any type of fire suppression,” said Hernandez.

Water tenders are portable containers used as temporary water sources, much like the way fire engines are employed. Both are crucial in battling wildland fires because they provide alternate and refillable sources of water.

“In California, you’re not just a structural firefighter,” said James Stark, firefighter, who is training to be an operator for one of the water tender vehicles. “I know it’s February, but the winter is the time when we need to sharpen our skills because in the summer, we don’t have time to practice.”

Stark is responsible for driving the water tender between engines and ensuring they are able to supply water to suppress the fire.

“It’s important to be good and proficient at my job because people rely on us so you want to be good at it you don’t want to be just okay,” said Stark.

Supplying those water tenders is particularly crucial and a bit of a difficult task aboard MCAS Miramar.

“It’s a very real scenario,” said Hernandez. “We don’t have very many hydrants out in east Miramar, so water supply is pretty scarce out there. If we had a large fire, we would have many water tenders out there to shuttle water and keep engines filled so we can actually use the hose lines to put out the fire.”

Shaun Fick, firefighter, is training to be a certified fire officer. A firefighter in this position has the strategic and tactical responsibilities of overseeing ground operations and ensuring a constant flow of water.

“This training is going to make (me) a better firefighter with the ability to see the bigger picture,” said Fick. “I’m not focused on one task; I have to be able to see all the tasks and be able to delegate and direct my subordinates to accomplish certain tasks in missions, i.e., put the fire out.”

With limited fire hydrants aboard MCAS Miramar, Fick plays a pivotal role in supervising the use of water sources when battling a fire.

“The most important thing is resource management,” said Fick. “That means being able to ensure all my resources are being used to their maximum capacity and basically that I don’t run out of water and everything runs smoothly.”

After the drill, Fick became a certified fire officer one and eligible to be promoted to engineer. All trainees completed the wildland fire suppression training evolution twice.

“Our main function is to protect lives and property,” said Hernandez. “For any type of the wildland fires that actually come on the instillation, we’re responsible and were the frontline to protect the base to mitigate the fires.”

Connected Media
ImagesMiramar firefighters...
Kevin Brown (center), fire department captain, revs up a...
ImagesMiramar firefighters...
Gary Flores, assistant water tender operator, wrenches a...
ImagesMiramar firefighters...
Alex Martinez (right), engineer, briefs Shaun Fick...
ImagesMiramar firefighters...
Alex Ramos, probationary firefighter, is checking for a...

Web Views

Podcast Hits

Public Domain Mark
This work, Miramar firefighters train for summer brushfire season, by Sgt Melissa Wenger, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:02.13.2013

Date Posted:02.15.2013 17:54


Hometown:SAN DIEGO, CA, US

More Like This

  • Troops from the 523rd Engineer Company, 84th Engineer Battalion, answered the call from U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii and Range Control Department in December, completing a weeklong berm-improvement mission at the Schofield Barracks range where recurring brush fires have started.
  • Third Marine Aircraft Wing Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., participated in a Wildland Firefighting Exercise at Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 10.
  • The Miramar Fire Department aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., conducted a controlled burn on East Miramar, May 16.
The fire department and the air station gain valuable fire-prevention knowledge by conducting this type of training exercise.
  • First responders with Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting, Miramar Fire Department and local firefighting and paramedic services teamed up for an annual aircraft mishap training exercise aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Sept. 4. 
The training was designed to introduce these professionals to each other and develop lines of communication which could be crucial in the event of a crisis.


  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard




  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr