TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan - Firefighters from the 376th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron and Kyrgyz Republic, Manas International Airport fire departments, recently teamed up for a vehicle rescue exercise here.
Sixteen MIA and 17 Transit Center firefighters attended the vehicle extrication training with the goal of gaining the ability to perform together flawlessly in the event of an emergency.
The scenario consisted of a smashed vehicle with a dummy as the trapped victim. Using similar tools, both teams helped rescue the victim.
"This training was organized so that host nation and Transit Center firefighters could interact and demonstrate the particular skillsets each have been taught." said Tech. Sgt. Eric Ackerman, 376 ECES fire department assistant chief of operations and training facilitator deployed from Langley Air Force Base, Va., and an Athens, Texas native. "We showcased our vehicle extrication techniques and equipment to the Kyrgyz firefighters, in turn; they demonstrated their ability using their own rescue tools and techniques."
This training is crucial for the both rescue teams and particularly for the MIA team because their area of responsibility extends beyond the flightline.
"We both save lives and we're learning from each other," said Marat Alykulov, MIA Fire Services engineer. "The MIA area of responsibility is not only the flightline, it's also eight kilometers (nearly five miles) radius outside the airport. So this particular training is important for vehicle accidents that can occur outside the gates."
The timeline for a real-world incident leaves no room for error.
"This type of training is extremely important due to the Golden Hour rule," said Staff Sgt. Kyle Dulin, 376 ECES fire department crew chief and rescue officer in charge of vehicle extrication operations. "If a severely injured patient is transported to a hospital within 60 minutes, their chance of survival increases. The more efficient we are as a unit the quicker we can get the patient out of the vehicle and into the back of an ambulance, saving those precious minutes that could mean the difference between life and death."
Dulin, a native of Redondo Beach, Calif., deployed from Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England said the training was a success.
"The U.S. Air Force and Kyrgyzstan fire departments taught different vehicle extrication techniques to one another thus broadening our selection in technique for use in future emergencies."