Air, earth, water, but especially fire

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kaitlyn Ergish
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

The 355th Wing is continually enhancing the partnership between Davis-Monthan and the local community, but especially when it comes to fighting fire.

Surrounding fire stations from the Tucson area partner with the Davis-Monthan Fire Department every few months to utilize the fire training grounds.

“We get multiple agencies who usually come out; Green Valley, Drexel Heights, Tubac, Davis-Monthan and sometimes we have Silver Bell or the Air and Army National Guard firefighters,” said Joseph Brian, Green Valley and Drexel Heights Fire District training captain. “Since we don’t have our own training facilities, we use these training grounds to practice residential and commercial structure fire scenarios.”

The relationship between both DM and nearby fire stations has proven to be positively impactful, ultimately strengthening the interoperability in the local first responder community.

“The first time to meet each other isn’t during an emergency,” said Darren Felish, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron assistant chief of training. “In the last 45 days, the relationship between the base and the local community has proven invaluable when we dually responded to two on-base fires and one off-base fire.”

DM has hosted 10 outside agencies and more than 400 personnel through the Regional Fire Training Center, resourcing these training grounds to complete auto extrication scenarios, live fire burns and the Emergency Vehicle Operators Course, to name a few.

“We’re very appreciative of Davis-Monthan and the U.S. Air Force for letting us train out here,” said Brian. “Allowing us do this helps build teams that are going to perform efficiently and save lives.”

“DM benefits greatly through community partnership with veteran civilian firefighters and departments from neighboring communities,” said Felish. “All agencies gain strategies and tactics from each other’s firefighting experiences, that ultimately can save a life.”

VIDEO | 01:01 | Community Fire Training