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YARS firefighters remain combat ready

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christina Russo
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Firefighters assigned to the 910th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department conducted Seasonal Training for new Airmen on July 24, 2020, at Youngstown Air Reserve Station. 
While most Reserve Citizen Airmen have been teleworking, firefighters with the 910th FD took to the flightline to complete upgrade training in order to remain reserve ready. ST is a program where Airmen complete training requirements to progress from an apprentice to a journeyman. 
“As part of upgrade training our Airmen have to get licensed to be drivers/operators for crash trucks, fire engines and mobile water supply,” said Tech. Sgt. Timothy Wertz, an assistant chief with the 910th FD. “Our Airmen were doing fire engines also known as pumper training. They completed all the book training so now they had to do the hands-on training, and as part of that we teach them how to unroll fire hoses.”
There are 10 Airmen completing their ST at the station. For each Airman, there is a ton of work and training that goes into ensuring they are qualified. 
“Right now we’re training one of the biggest classes of candidates,” said Wertz. “Normally, Airmen are assigned to a 48-hour shift with the station and we can take our time training them. However, with COVID-19 we have to keep our station as sterile as possible by limiting the number of personnel.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ST is conducted by in-house personnel, and Airmen study in a separate location from the fire station to ensure the exposure rate is kept low. 
“We have the Airmen studying at the civil engineer building, and then we take the equipment they are training on to them or we have them meet us somewhere like the flightline,” said Wertz. 
Although training during this time can be rather daunting, it is all worth it in the end, said Wertz. 
“We, as trainers, can get back to the basics of pump operations and driving,” said Wertz. “It’s just rewarding to see the Airmen having fun and learning.”
Airmen will continue their training throughout the remainder of the summer while continuing to keep with DOD and CDC guidelines.