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Department of Firefighters at Myrtle Beach International Airport organizes first direct fire simulation training

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – For the first time ever, the Fire Department of Myrtle Beach International Airport is conducting direct fire training right here in Myrtle Beach.

The Fire Department at Myrtle Beach International Airport begins training on direct fire simulation.
The Fire Department at Myrtle Beach International Airport begins training on direct fire simulation.(wmbf)

This is the first year airport firefighters can stay in Myrtle Beach and practice direct fire simulations for a full week.

This is the annual training required to regulate the FAA, all airport firefighters must receive at least every 12 months.

In the past, it was held in Colombia. Deputy Chief Firefighter Patrick Oleary says the biggest benefit of not having to travel out of town for training is that out-of-airport firefighters are now able to attend the training as well.

They were a small department. We rely heavily on mutual help to come and help us if we had a real plane crash. This gives us the opportunity to work with them, fighting fire together, using each other’s equipment. It helps with interaction and communication, said Deputy Fire Chief Patrick OLeary.

The Fire Chief says that in addition to mutual assistance, the department can now use its own equipment. He says this allows his firefighters to become more familiar with the equipment they will use in real-world scenarios.

Myrtle Beach International Airport firefighter David Williams says not needing to travel to Colombia for training saves team time.

“We can leave our station, stay at the property, still be available for emergencies at the airport, but get hands-on training without having to go out on the field or doing overtime or other problems that may arise,” he said. Williams.

The department hired a portable aircraft fire trainer that allows firefighters to simulate a range of direct fire situations in more efficient ways.

Instead of using foam or chemical agents, the team uses water to put out fires during training. They say they do not want to influence the airport using other agents.

Deputy Chief Firefighter OLeary says the purpose of this training is to use their trucks to remove fire from the aircraft and create a rescue patch.

Airport firefighters began training today and firefighter captain Michael Mooney says he was well received by his team.

There is a lot of enthusiasm for this, especially since it is the first time. Everyone wants it to go well. Hopefully, we can continue it in the future, said Captain Mooney.

The Myrtle Beach International Airport Fire Department hopes to continue the annual training at Myrtle Beach. Throughout the week, the fire departments of Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Horry County will complete the training.

Copyright 2021 WMBF. All rights reserved.

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