Firefighters from the Edwards Fire and Emergency Services conducted a search and rescue training session during a foam fire suppression test at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., July 23, 2020.
The High Expansion Foam Fire Suppression System test was conducted at recently remodeled, 71,700 sq. ft., hangar. The test is one of many validation checkpoints that will ultimately clear the building for use.
“The hangar will have a state of the art fire suppression and fire alarm systems capable for quickly putting out fire without loss of life or damaging aircraft parked in the hangar,” said Bayram Kurbanov, 412th Civil Engineer Group and the project manager for the venture.
The $8.9 million project was a Design-Bid-Build development, meaning design and construction were done by separate companies. The design part was awarded in May 25, 2017, and construction part was awarded in Sept. 28, 2018, Kurbanov explained.
Edwards FES took advantage of the rare opportunity to conduct search and rescue training. The training opportunity does not happen very often said Michael Pinan, Assistant Chief for Fire Prevention, Edwards AFB Fire and Emergency Services.
“Luckily here at Edwards we have been fortunate to have a string of new hangar construction projects,” Pinan said. “Scheduling an event like this takes time and effort as all stages of the training must be coordinated with the contractor. We hope to conduct more training evolutions in the future with more hangars on the horizon.”
The training provided Edwards firefighters with many lessons learned as the training event was a first for many members of the team, Pinan explained.
“We believe the most important lessons learned from this training evolution were the need for better communications, and the realization of the physical challenges associated with this operation,” Pinan added.
He said the team had a “no quit” attitude but faced communications and physical challenges that many had not faced before.
“The other big takeaway from this training evolution was the need for more personnel. Our department is spread out over the vast land mass that is Edwards AFB. We attempted to succeed at this exercise with minimal personnel,” Pinan said. “Because of the extreme physical demand of the operation and the need for more rest/work cycles, the need for more personnel on scene was evident. Overall, the exercise was a success, and as with any training event we will take our lessons learned and turn them into new strategies and tactics to practice for future training evolutions.”