GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Despite COVID-19, the Air Education and Training Command’s mission continues.
The Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy has adjusted for COVID by requiring face coverings to be worn, social distancing when possible, and following other Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, but other than that it’s business as usual.
“Outside of the social distancing, COVID-19 hasn’t affected us too much,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Kidd, 312th Training Squadron Block III instructor. “We’ve had to adapt and overcome the masks, they muffle our voices which makes it difficult for the students to hear, but the class is doing fine.”
At the end of each block, students are required to do an exercise performing all the techniques they learned. The exercise can vary, and students must be prepared for every role.
“We put everything we’ve learned so far together as a group,” said Airman 1st Class Coleman Key, a 312th TRS student. “It tests what we retained and how well we can do it.”
The students were assigned to three engines all with different roles. Their main objective they worked on together was a simulated structure fire.
“We had our primary fire attack engine which consisted of a crew chief, driver, nozzleman, plug-man,” said Kidd. “We had a second engine which was just manpower, and lastly a rescue truck, which was in charge of search and rescue and ventilation.”
Each engine has an essential function when firefighters perform a fire attack.
The students performed well despite the challenges thrown at them by both the instructors and COVID-19.