News: Deployed soldiers stand ready to battle with fire
Story by Staff Sgt. Bryan Dominique
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Soldiers with the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, also known as Lancer Brigade, can rest easy on Camp Nathan Smith, Afghanistan, due to the efforts of a few who stand ready to respond to fires that can occur around the camp.
Instructors with Task Force Power came to Camp Nathan Smith for a three-day course to train volunteers who will act as first responders to incipient fires, or fires in the beginning stages, in an effort to prevent soldiers and civilians from being injured in the event of a fire.
“The purpose of the industrial fire brigade is to bring the soldiers up to a level of training where they can fight incipient fires or provide defense fire fighting actions,” said Doug Hanson, an instructor who represents Task Force Power here in Afghanistan. “We cover items like incident command, hazard recognition, loss prevention, and of course, hands on firefighting use of the compressed air pump system.”
The compressed air pump system has already been used throughout Afghanistan to fight fires before they spread.
“The compressed air pump system is a proven method of firefighting,” said Hanson. “We’ve had a few fires this week that have been extinguished using the CAS.”
Soldiers received hands-on training in the use of the compressed air pump system at the conclusion of the course during live burn exercise June 6.
“[This] training is to keep CNS safe from fires,” said Cpl. William Lamm, a supply non-commissioned officer with 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd SBCT. “We’re looking for a safe and quick response [because] that’s where most of the battles are won and lost in the fire service is in the response time.”
Lamm has previous firefighting experience that he hopes to use in keeping his fellow volunteers ready to take action at a moment’s notice.
“I have previous firefighting experience,” said Lamm. “[I want] to help get their techniques down [and] reiterate some of that here. They [instructors] have a lot of knowledge [and] I’m definitely going to stay in contact with them to keep my skills up out here.
The best skill needed for fighting fires is the discipline to practice fire safety and ensuring the tools available are ready in the event a fire takes place.
“I think the real key to fire safety here in the theater is that we ensure that exits are open,” said Hanson. “You see these tents that have dividers that have been put up, [but] exit safety is probably number one. Number two would be smoke detectors, and finally the fire extinguishers. Look at them every month to ensure that they’re ready to go out on mission.”