Gowen Field firefighters conduct ‘live-burn’ training with Boise City Fire Dept.

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Sarah Pokorney
  • 124th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Boise, Idaho--Firefighters from the Gowen Field Fire Department battled flames and smoke alongside Boise City firefighters in a "live-burn" exercise at an abandoned home turned training grounds on Beverly St. off Victory Rd. in Boise, Idaho, Nov. 1.

Fire Chief Ryan York and five Gowen Field firefighters: Tech. Sgt. Damon Williams, Staff Sgt. Matthew Harrington, Staff Sgt. Matthew Logue, and Senior Airman Reginald Pierce were initially to provide resupply using tender at the exercise. As the day went on they were incorporated into incident command, ventilation, search/rescue, fire attack, and overhaul. The team also practiced shuttle operations with the tender.

"This operation met our live burn requirement as well as the requirement to train with mutual aid fire departments," explained Master Sgt. Christopher Brearley, Deputy Fire Chief, Gowen Field Fire Department. "It also solidified our knowledge of tender operations."

The firefighters also conducted follow on nighttime water shuttle operations with Boise Fire and other local agencies 12-16 November at a Boise School District Complex training location on Victory Rd.

The department trains several times a year with mutual aid departments, which are other local fire departments like Boise, Kuna, and Eagle that have reciprocal response agreements with Gowen Field. In the case of a large fire they can call on Gowen Field for additional support and vice versa.

The firefighters also respond to off-base plane crashes. They conduct joint tabletop exercises at the Boise Airport or here in the department training room to process prove response to a variety of scenarios. They are also scheduled to conduct structural collapse training with Boise's technical rescue team in the near future.

"Training with local fire departments allows us to work out interoperability issues in a controlled environment rather than trying to figure things out on the fly during a real world incident," said Brearley.

In the past the firefighters have responded to off base grass fires, motor vehicle accidents requiring extrication on the freeway, and house fires.

In 2008, Gowen Field firefighters responded with approximately 4o other fire crews from throughout the valley, to a four-alarm fire in the Columbia Village subdivision that took one resident's life, destroyed 10 houses and damaged nine others.

Fire crews worked with law enforcement to evacuate residents and contain the fire.