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    125th Fighter Wing firefighters get hands-on training at Naval Air Station Jacksonville

    125th Fighter Wing firefighters get hands-on training at Naval Air Station Jacksonville

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Carlynne DeVine | Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Turnage, a 125th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighter, assesses...... read more read more

    JACKSONVILLE, FL, UNITED STATES

    06.02.2017

    Story by Staff Sgt. Carlynne DeVine 

    125th Fighter Wing

    Jacksonville, Fla. (June 2, 2017) - With temperatures in the mid-80s under Florida’s summer sun, tiny gnats fly around in the muggy air. Add to that the weight and heat of a firefighter’s uniform.

    125th Civil Engineering Squadron firefighters, of the 125th Fighter Wing in Jacksonville, Florida, participated in off-site training at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, June 2, 2017.

    Three stations were set up for this hands-on training: forcible entry, ladder raising and carrying, and structural operations and extraction.

    “This adds to the value of our training, to actually be able to do hands-on and practice the skills we learned,” said Master Sgt. David Franklin, the assistant chief of operations for the 125 CES firehouse. “It builds comradery, boosts morale, and gives pride and ownership of the fire department.”

    Firefighters new and seasoned each take away something valuable from this experience.

    “Everything that we do here in training relates back to the real world,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Linder, a 125 CES firefighter.

    Linder is experienced enough to now teach newer troops, something that gives even more meaning to his profession.

    “It means a sense of pride that I get to pass on what I was taught,” said Linder. “It’s fun to see people grow and learn.”

    125 CES commander and base fire marshal Lt. Col. Brian Vitetta recognizes how essential this training is for his Airmen.

    “As a commander, you want to ensure your Airmen are receiving quality hands-on training,” said Vitetta. “You cannot conduct realistic training, such as pulling a 190-pound body out of a burning building or aircraft in full personal protective equipment from a computer based training. The outstanding hands-on training these Airmen are receiving will better prepare them for when they are called into action during a real-world event. This training also allows our Airmen to train as a team, which is key when your life is in each other’s hands.”

    There are no empty 2-story buildings at the 125 FW for firefighters to practice in. When the opportunity arose for them to drill off-site in a controlled environment, they took it.

    125 CES firefighter Airman 1st Class Triston McAfee realizes this training enables him to better help those around him.

    “It means a lot to have a hand in helping,” said McAfee, “to get your hands in there and help the community out.”

    Firefighting isn’t just a job to these Airmen, it’s a way of life.

    “To be a firefighter, it takes a lot of dedication, it’s like a calling,” said Staff Sgt. Bradley Williams, a 125 CES firefighter. “It’s something that I love, I can’t picture myself doing anything else.”

    Williams is also studying full time to be a paramedic, which he knows will only add to his life-saving capabilities.

    “It’s a great career,” said Williams. “You’ll learn a lot, you’ll get to do a lot of cool things, and hopefully one day maybe save somebody.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.02.2017
    Date Posted: 06.06.2017 16:32
    Story ID: 236562
    Location: JACKSONVILLE, FL, US 

    Web Views: 203
    Downloads: 0
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