Fire safety training keeps deployed troops prepared

3rd Sustainment Brigade
Story by 1st Lt. Amanda Cookman

Date: 08.01.2013
Posted: 08.01.2013 02:42
News ID: 111162
Fire safety training keeps deployed troops prepared

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan—Amidst the 120-degree Afghanistan summer, U.S. soldiers with the 109th Transportation Company, 87th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, have learned one way to beat the heat and ignited fire safety training with the DynCorp Camp Leatherneck Fire Department, July 28.

As part of the unit’s safety stand down day at Camp Leatherneck, the fire department helped raise the temperatures outside with controlled fires and taught the troops exactly how to extinguish the flames.

The purpose of the training was to share the importance of fire safety in a desert environment. Asheville, N.C., native Tom Parson was the primary instructor for the exercise.

“(Many) people have never experienced a fire (first-hand),” said Parson, who has served as a firefighter since 1986 and at Camp Leatherneck for three years. “This gives the Soldiers a chance to judge what they are up against.”

Second Lt. Daniel Stonecypher, the safety officer for 109th TC, organized the training. He said that incorporating subject matter experts contributed immensely to his company’s readiness.

“The fire department takes pride in training various units on Camp Leatherneck to ensure Soldiers are prepared in the event of an emergency situation,” said Stonecypher.

The Soldiers trained on the Tri-Max Fire Suppression unit, which holds a 30-gallon mixture that produces foam to douse the flames. The fire department presented realistic scenarios that could threaten the unit while deployed and ignited multiple, staged, flammable wood piles for the troops to tactically extinguish.

Sgt. Joshua Leavitt, 109th Transportation Company's safety non-commissioned officer, said the training was beneficial.

“This training could make a difference one day and save somebody’s life out here,” he said.