ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D, (KOTA TV) - South Dakota National Guard soldiers and Ellsworth firefighters team up to put out a mock aircraft set on fire.
Ellsworth firefighters set a mock aircraft on fire for aircraft burn training at Ellsworth Air Force Base. (KOTA TV)
Seventeen Ellsworth firefighters and South Dakota National Guard members tackled four blazes on a mock aircraft at Ellsworth Air Force Base.
About 300 gallons of jet fuel was brought to the fire pit to ignite each fire.
The firefighters were tested on how fast they put out the fires in two ways. One way using firetrucks and the other by hand.
"Luckily, here at Ellsworth we are lucky enough to have an actual live jet A burning fire pit trainer. It's also a great resource obviously for the Army and other organizations around in the area that are able to come here and we can facilitate that training for them," Deputy Chief of Ellsworth Fire Station MSgt. Micah Doran said.
Aircraft burns are an annual re-certification training process for the Air Force and Army.
A few members from the Ellsworth Fire Services monitored how fast and efficient the teams put out the flames.
SFC Maxwell Stoltenburg, Fire Chief of the 451st firefighters, said the most challenging part of the exercise is team communication while hauling out about 3,500 gallons of water throughout the day.
"I've been in the military for 16 years. The techniques I've seen have just been used on the training ground. Fortunately, we haven't had a real world scenario where we would have to apply this. But we also want to be ready just in case in the event of a scenario like this," Stoltenburg said.
Doran said later in the week they will host fire pit training for firefighters from Nebraska and next week training for members from Wyoming.