News: ARFF teaches future Marine firefighters
Story by Lance Cpl. Kyle N. Runnels
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. - The Marine Corps is full of opportunities. Recent Marine Combat Training graduates and future Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Marines were given an opportunity to tour the Marine Corps Air Station New River ARFF fire house, Jan. 5.
The tour started with Cpl. Thomas R. Newman, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron aircraft rescue firefighter, showing the graduates tools of the trade and the vehicles the graduates will soon get accustomed to including the P-19, a major aircraft rescue firefighting vehicle.
On the next step of the tour the firehouse gave the graduates a treat. An alarm was pulled and the calm firehouse turned into an organized riot. The graduates’ eyes widened as ARFF Marines came pouring into their trucks. In less than two minutes, the firefighters were sitting in their trucks in full gear ready to go.
Newman taught the Marines what pieces of gear will be checked during inspections at the end of such drills and common mistakes made while putting on personal protective equipment. He taught them about the dangers that wait in a real life situations if those mistakes are made.
At the end of the tour the graduates were given words of wisdom and inspiration by Staff Sgt. Brett M. O’Mara, ARFF section leader. He was an instructor at the ARFF school for Marines and gave them guidance on how to successfully make it through the course.
“The Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting School at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Justin, Texas, will teach them the basics on being a ‘crash crew man’,” said Staff Sgt. Israel F. Dominguez, ARFF training chief.
“Nevertheless, it’s not until you actually hit the Fleet Marine Force that an (ARFF) Marine will actually learn and know exactly what his job consists of.”
The Marines were afforded the opportunity because of Master Sgt. John J. Sudbrink, MCT aviation liaison.
“ARFF was really great and very willing to do this,” said Sudbrink. “These graduates are extremely fortunate. They got to be hands on and get a crystal ball look at what their MOS will teach them.”
Dominguez explained how the Marines gained a valuable experience shortly after graduating MCT.
“These Marines had that opportunity to have a sneak peek at what they will soon be doing,” said Dominguez. “I believe this opportunity gave them something real to look forward too, as well as the motivation and eagerness to graduate military occupational specialty school and make it to the fleet.”