News: Danger Zone: Bulk Fuel Company gets up close and personal with fuel fires
Story by Lance Cpl. Shawn Valosin
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Marines with Bulk Fuel Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group gathered outside of the Aircraft Rescue Firefighting building to prepare to start their annual training.
The training was split between classes on fuel first aid, how to put out fires depending on what type of fuel is ablaze, and practical application consisting of live fire burns in an open pit.
“Fire emergencies don’t happen all the time, but when they do they’re really bad,” said Staff Sgt. Shawn Christ, a P-19 vehicle operator and section leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. “The only way to be prepared is to do live fire training exercises so you know what to expect.”
During the practical application portion of training Marines were shown how to stack up on a fire hose, how to hold the nozzle, make adjustments, and how to navigate around the fire to effectively extinguish the blaze.
After learning the basics it was time to turn up the heat. Marines donned proximity suits, which are designed to protect the wearer from high temperatures.
Once everyone was ready, approximately 250 gallons of fuel were dumped into a circular pit and then ignited.
Though most of the training water was used to extinguish the flames, the last group got to use a secret weapon, the Twin Agent Unit.
The TAU combines dry chemicals with water to create a foam consistency that attacks the flames and chokes out the source.
“Fuel fires are fairly common in deployed environments, and as bulk fuel specialists we have to be the first responders when an incident occurs,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Pedro Peraza, the company commander for Bulk Fuel Company. “Knowing the science behind putting out a fire and how to move and communicate goes a long way when it comes time to put out a fire.”