Firefighters train in aircraft rescue -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters train in aircraft rescue

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –If a plane crashes in Valdosta, firefighters are prepared.

They trained on a crash and rescue truck at the Valdosta Regional Airport Thursday.

They also learned different techniques to put out airplane fires.

Many of the firefighters are working to get their Aircraft Rescue Firefighting certificates.

Fortunately, plane crashes in Lowndes County don't happen often. But if it does happen, these Valdosta firefighters are ready.

A pick-up truck is being used to simulate an airplane that has crashed and caught fire.

Valdosta firefighters practice different spray techniques as if the truck was engulfed in flames.

In a real life situation, they'd also use foam to blanket leaked fuel.

"Aircrafts have thousands of gallons of fuel on them," said Valdosta Fire Sgt. John Herpin. "The fuel load is different. The way the fire behaves because of the aircraft fuel is different."

What's unique about this crash and rescue truck firefighters trained on Thursday is that it can spray water, foam, and dry chemicals while it's moving.

Right now, the Valdosta Fire Department has 25 firefighters certified in this type of training.

"We want to be able to of course establish a safe exit for all the passengers on board the aircraft," said Valdosta Fire Lt. Carl Smith. "That is our primary job is to assist those people."

Thirteen more are working to get their Aircraft Rescue Firefighting certification.

Valdosta firefighters conduct aircraft rescue training throughout the year.

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