109th, community firefighters complete live fire training
By Staff Sgt. Ben German, 109th AW Public Affairs
/ Published December 08, 2015
BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- Firefighters with the 109th Civil Engineer Squadron's Fire Department at Stratton Air National Guard Base participated in a joint live fire training exercise with the Schuyler Hose Co. at the Saratoga County Fire Training Center on Dec. 5.
The goal of this structural fire exercise was to train participants on fire development and dynamics giving them controlled experience with live fire behavior. The training was completed in compliance with the annual requirements for the 109th Fire Department; structural drills are one of the two primary live fire exercise types (the other being aircraft) the firefighters complete yearly.
Airman 1st Class Adam Derepentigny, 109th firefighter, said training like this is imperative for job competency.
"It's the bread and butter," he said. "If you don't know how fire is going to react, you're just going at it not knowing what you're doing."
One of the exercise instructors, Tech. Sgt. Joshua Meyers, 109th fire training officer, agreed. "(Training) is very important ... this is real world stuff, this is really what's required in life or death situations."
Lt. Col. Robert Donaldson, 109th CES commander, donned a fire suit for the day to observe the drill firsthand. "(This is a great opportunity to) check out all the good stuff I've been hearing about," he said. "With the fire department and all the great people and professionals who are able to do that job, day in and day out, saving lives."
Many of the traditional guardsmen at the 109th also work as firefighters in the civilian sector, including Tech. Sgt. Adam Meyers, a guardsman who works for the Schuyler Hose Co. and participated in the drill. This background in related disciplines (as civilians) provides "a wealth of experience that they bring to the table," Donaldson said.
"(This was a) great opportunity," Donaldson said. "Great training, a great bunch of people and professionals; I'm proud of what each of them do ... every day."